Doubt cast over future of Marconi team

The future of Marconi’s marketing department and its marketing chief Martin Harriman hangs in the balance after the company sold the bulk of its assets and its name to Ericsson for &£1.2bn.

The deal will see Marconi’s telecoms equipment business bought by Ericsson, leaving the UK company with its services business, which will be renamed Telent.

As part of the deal, about 6,500 Marconi staff will move to Ericsson, but the Swedish company says job cuts are “unavoidable”. At least 1,000 jobs are likely to be at risk at Marconi’s sites in the UK and overseas, but an Ericsson spokeswoman says it is too early to comment on specific departments or employees.

Marketers at Marconi were already facing an uncertain future after the beleaguered maker of telecoms equipment failed to win a role in BT’s &£10bn network revamp (MW May 5). The company was effectively put up for sale following BT’s decision to hand the work to eight overseas rivals.

Marconi employs more than 9,000 staff worldwide. Of these, about 2,000 workers – nearly all in the UK – will be retained in the Telent business. It is not yet clear whether chief marketing officer Harriman and the 20-strong marketing department will stay with Telent, move to Ericsson or face redundancy.

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