SAN FRANCISCO - Seagate Technology, which has major operations in Minnesota, has replaced its top two executives and said it plans to cut 800 jobs -- 10 percent of its U.S. workforce -- as the hard drive maker endures a bruising slowdown in technology spending. Its stock fell more than 15 percent.
The Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company announced Monday that William Watkins, 56, Seagate's chief executive since 2004, and Dave Wickersham, 52, the president and chief operating officer, had both left the company, effective immediately. The company has 53,000 workers worldwide.
Stephen Luczo, 51, a former investment banker who served as Seagate's CEO from 1998 until 2004 amid a wrenching restructuring, will return as CEO. Wickersham's jobs will be taken by Robert Whitmore, 46, executive vice president and chief technology officer.
Officials of Seagate did not return a call about how the cuts would affect about 3,300 employees in Bloomington and Shakopee. The Shakopee plant develops disk drives for business customers. The Bloomington plant develops a component that reads data from and writes data to a magnetic disk.