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Wed, Aug 22, 2007

Boeing To Lay Off 149 Senior IT Staff

Planemaker Outsourcing Its Computer Systems Work

Following in the footsteps of many an American corporation, Boeing has decided to outsource its information technology work in a move that will result in layoffs.

Last Friday, 149 senior IT personnel were the recipients of 60-day layoff notices, reports The Seattle Times. Some of those who received the notices could possibly find other positions within Boeing -- while the outsourcing company, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) of El Segundo, CA will hire others said Boeing spokesperson Cathy Rudolph.

"We have a very large IT population. We're always studying where does it make sense to do that work," she said. "There is no overarching strategy to outsource large portions of IT work."

The Puget Sound area of Washington will see the most losses at 123 jobs; the rest of the positions are distributed across the nation.

The positions being let go include systems analysts, system administrators, design and integration specialists as well as non-union professional staff. CSC had taken over the computer systems monitoring, support and administration duties in Boeing's defense unit in 2003. Those duties will now be company-wide.

Boeing Vice President Radha Radhakrishnan, head of the affected Boeing unit, Computer and Network Operations (CNO), has actually been toying with restructuring options for more than a year, Rudolph said.

A memo from Radhakrishnan last month said, "the CNO Leadership Team has been working over the last four months to 'Paint the Future' of this organization," and outsourcing would "achieve significant savings."

The Seattle Times reports CSC had submitted a bid to take over Boeing's mainframe operations, but that bid was higher than the cost of doing it in-house, according to a CNO employee.

Rudolph confirmed mainframe operations would be kept in-house and the outsourced work is "in line with CSC's core business."

However, she said, that doesn't mean Boeing will outsource any more IT work.

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.csc.com

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