AI layoffs hit marketing organization hard

January 16, 1991

Acoustic Imaging laid off about 4% of its work force this monthin reaction to a sluggish economy and tightening medical market,said Karl Reichardt, director of human resources at the Phoenix-basedultrasound vendor. Although Reichardt would not name

Acoustic Imaging laid off about 4% of its work force this monthin reaction to a sluggish economy and tightening medical market,said Karl Reichardt, director of human resources at the Phoenix-basedultrasound vendor. Although Reichardt would not name specificindividuals, indications are that the cutback involved about ninemarketing executives, including John Zinn, vice president of marketing.

A total of 18 executives were laid off last week, one sourcesaid. While the economy may have been a factor in AI's layoffs,indications are that company revenue has suffered from a delayin the launch of the firm's color-flow Doppler ultrasound product.Sluggish profits, in turn, may have pushed parent Dornier Medizintechnikof Germany to call for cost reductions.

"We did some fine-tuning," Reichardt said. "Therewere some functions we felt we could live without right now. Wehave redirected our resources and continue to serve our customers."

AI informed customers at the 1990 Radiological Society of NorthAmerica meeting last month that it is developing a proprietarycolor-flow Doppler system for its AI 5200 ultrasound system, butthe technology will not be available commercially until October(SCAN 12/12/90). The restructuring will not affect AI's developmentprocess for the color-flow system, Reichardt said.

"We are absolutely dedicated to the color Doppler development(program) and still intend to show the (color prototype) imagesin the second quarter of 1991," he told SCAN.

Dornier Medical Systems in Marietta, GA, the German company'sU.S. subsidiary, has not taken over any functions for AI, saidCatherine Abercrombie, director of corporate communications forDornier.

In fact, DMS also restructured itself this month, resultingin an unspecified layoff of U.S. personnel. The changes combinedlargely administration functions and were in line with a generalrestructuring effort at Deutsche Aerospace, Dornier's parent company,she said.

The staff reduction at DMS was unrelated to difficulties inobtaining Food and Drug Administration approval for biliary applicationsof Dornier's lithotripters, Abercrombie said.