SGI to cut hundreds of jobs

Silicon Graphics Inc., the maker of high-powered computer graphics systems, Wednesday announced plans to implement a broad restructuring program, including the elimination of 700 to 1,000 jobs and a reshuffling among top execs.

The changes are part of plans to cut operating expenses and free up more money for development of new programs.

The job cuts will involve SGI employees worldwide, as well as contractors. The Mountain View-based computer company said it expects to take a restructuring charge in the current fiscal quarter of approximately $50 million, most of which will be attributed to the workforce reductions.

At the same time, SGI CEO Edward R. McCracken has announced his intention to leave his post, though he’ll stay in the job during the firm’s search for a successor. McCracken joined SGI in 1984.

Gary L. Lauer also has resigned his post as exec VP of SGI’s worldwide field operations and as president of the firm’s world trade corporation. Lauer joined the firm in 1988, as VP of North American marketing, and rose to exec VP of worldwide field ops in 1995.

Robert H. Ewald, exec veep of computer systems, will serve as acting chief operating officer, with responsibilities for product development and manufacturing, sales and marketing.

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