EDS polishes 9,000 gold watches

Anyone fancy early retirement?

EDS is offering 9,000 workers early retirement as it struggles to control costs. The services giant said yesterday it was delaying posting its accounts until it can work out how much it has lost providing the US Navy with a new intranet.

The firm is hoping about 4,600 employees, out of 9,000 who are eligible, will take up the offer of early retirement. This will reduce costs by $250m per year by 2006. The program - or "Comprehensive Work Force Management Initiative" as the press release has it - is open to most US employees over fifty. Staff above the level of vice president are excluded as are those with government security clearance, people working on the General Motors account and consultants with AT Kearney, according to the FT.

EDS will take a $150m charge assuming half those offered retirement take up the offer. It should start seeing savings of about $250m by 2005. It expects client needs will require it filling less than half the vacated positions. EDS confirmed it expects full year revenue to be in the range $20bn to $21bn.

The company is also retraining 20,000 programmers to use "next generation platforms" like Microsoft.NET and J2EE. More details available on the EDS website here. ®

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