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Dow Chemical Announces Cutbacks; Dow Automotive is Not Expected to be Affected, Company Officials Report

The Dow Chemical Co. announced yesterday that it would eliminate approximately 5,000 full-time jobs, close 20 facilities in high-cost locations and divest several "non-strategic" businesses in response to the state of the current economy.

Despite these cutbacks, Philip Jentoft, commercial manager for the aftermarket at Dow, says he does not expect any changes in this area.

"At this time there are no changes expected in Dow Automotive Aftermarket," Jentoft says.

According to a press release, the job reductions represent a reduction of roughly 11 percent of Dow's global workforce, according to the company. Once fully implemented, these actions are expected to result in $700 million in annual operating cost savings by 2010.
In addition, reflecting poor current market conditions, Dow will temporarily idle approximately 180 plants and significantly reduce its contractor workforce worldwide by approximately 6,000 as predicated by reduced operations.

"Transformation, by definition, requires a commitment to working differently," says Dow chairman and chief executive officer Andrew N. Liveris. "We are moving from a highly centralized and standardized approach, to operating three very different business models with a lean and efficient corporate center. Today's restructuring is designed to support the Dow of tomorrow. However, we are accelerating the implementation of these measures as the current world economy has deteriorated sharply, and we must adjust ourselves to the severity of this downturn."

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