LG to Lay Off Workers to Stay Competitive

LG Electronics may lay off up to 30 percent of its overseas staff, as the company attempts to cut costs and begin a turnaround.

The South Korean electronics maker, which hasn’t confirmed the details, reportedly plans to slash jobs its marketing and purchasing departments. The layoffs come as LG struggles to stay competitive. The company, which posted losses in five straight quarters, fell to less than 6 percent market share in the spring.

Meanwhile, rival Samsung beat surged by nearly three times that amount.

Analysts blame LG’s downward spiral on its failure to shift focus from basic feature phones to app-centered, touch screen smartphones.

In April, LG appeared to be on the right track when it revealed its second quarter report. The company posted losses of $14.6 million in the quarter, but showed major improvement from a quarter earlier when it lost $229 million.

LG hedged its bets with the Optimus 3D and the Thrill 4G, but it faces fierce competition from Samsung’s Galaxy S2 and Motorola’s Droid Bionic, as well as the iPhone 5, looming in October.

But even if LG refocuses on high-end devices, the layoffs indicate the company still has considerable ground to cover. Despite the reset in direction, the company may have fallen too far behind to make a comeback without making some concessions. As competition heats up, if LG continues to post losses, the cuts may get worse.

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