Dyson to cut nearly a third of its UK workforce

Dyson, the renowned technology company founded by Sir James Dyson, is set to cut nearly a third of its British workforce in response to intense market competition.

The company announced on Tuesday that it plans to lay off approximately 1,000 of its 3,500 UK-based employees.

Hanno Kirner, Dyson’s chief executive, described the redundancies as “painful” but necessary following a global operational review initiated earlier this year. This review, which began before the general election was called in May, is not connected to the policies of the new Labour government.

The job cuts come in the wake of Dyson’s decision to discontinue its electric car project and the launch of its controversial Zone Absolute headphones. These noise-cancelling, air-purifying headphones, featuring a mask that covers the mouth, were initially priced at £819.99 but have since been reduced to £579.99.

Dyson Ltd, the UK branch of the company known for its bagless vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, and heaters, experienced a 10% drop in sales to £376 million in 2022. Despite this, global sales increased from £6 billion to £6.5 billion in the same year, with revenues hitting £7.1 billion the following year, even amid challenges like the closure of its Russian operations and supply chain disruptions.

It remains unclear if the job cuts will affect Dyson’s international operations, including its 2,000 employees in Singapore. The UK job reductions will impact Dyson’s campus in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, which will continue to serve as a major research site and home to the Dyson Institute.

In a statement, Kirner said, “We have grown quickly and, like all companies, we review our global structures from time to time to ensure we are prepared for the future. Dyson operates in increasingly fierce and competitive global markets, in which the pace of innovation and change is only accelerating. We know we always need to be entrepreneurial and agile – principles that are not new to Dyson.”

He acknowledged the difficulty of the decision, adding, “Decisions which impact close and talented colleagues are always incredibly painful. Those whose roles are at risk of redundancy as a result of the proposals will be supported through the process.”

The announcement follows Sir James Dyson’s recent criticism of the former Conservative government’s economic policies. He accused the government of a “short-sighted” approach that hindered business growth, stating in The Telegraph that Dyson’s success was achieved “despite government, rather than because of it.”

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