GTAT next solar company to announce job cuts

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A spokesperson for the U.S.-based company tells pv magazine that around 150 employees have been affected in North America and Asia. While they could not provide specific details, they did say there are more job cuts in Asia, due to the higher number of employees there, and that the cuts have been applied across all business segments.

The move has come as part of a streamlining operation by GTAT to "better align its cost structure with current market conditions and enhance its ability to pursue strategic growth initiatives." In addition to the workforce reduction, the company has also consolidated existing business units into a single Crystal Growth Systems (CGS) group.

Dan Squiller will take on the role of president for the new group, which combines the company’s photovoltaics, polysilicon and sapphire business units, and its worldwide operations. Meanwhile, David Keck will assume the role of executive VP and GM of the photovoltaics and polysilicon unit.

While GTAT will incur costs of approximately $4.2 million in its next financial quarter, the restructuring is expected to save the company around $13 million a year.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that some of our Asian customers are experiencing severe financial difficulties brought on by a number of economic and trade related challenges," said Tom Gutierrez, GTAT president and CEO.

He added, "In the long term, we continue to expect renewed growth in the LED market as general lighting adoption accelerates and a turn-around in the solar industry driven in large part by the adoption of new technologies that provide critical cost reductions. We also remain optimistic about the opportunities in our sapphire business for emerging applications such as the mobile cover and touch screen markets."

For Q3 2012, GTAT expects its revenue to come in at the lower end of its guidance of $110 million to $140 million. It is scheduled to report its results on November 6.