• Toymaker Hasbro Lays Off 55 in RI

      Hasbro Inc. laid off 55 employees in Rhode Island on Tuesday as the local toymaker shrinks the size of its North American operations, WPRI.com has confirmed.


      The company is terminating about 170 workers worldwide in light of disappointing results in its U.S. and Canadian divisions, which are under new leadership, Hasbro spokesman Wayne Charness told WPRI.com.

      "These moves were made to address both the under-performance in the U.S. and Canada segment and the need for different skill sets in the company’s work force to be better aligned with a quickly evolving business," Charness said in a statement. Hasbro is the world's second-largest toymaker, behind Mattel Inc.

      Hasbro employs about 1,400 people in Rhode Island, Charness said. It was the state's 12th-largest private employer as of last March, according to the R.I. Economic Development Corporation. Rhode Island's unemployment rate was 10.9% in January.

      The 55 Hasbro workers losing their jobs in Rhode Island are in Pawtucket and Providence, Charness said. He emphasized that the company hired about 160 people in Rhode Island in 2011, and said its local employment "ebbs and flows" based on the company's needs.

      "The decision to eliminate certain positions – even when it is necessary for the long-term success of the company – is always very difficult, because such moves clearly impact people," Charness said. "All employees affected by these moves today will receive competitive severance packages, including outplacement services."

      Hasbro employed about 5,900 people worldwide as of December, including 3,200 in the U.S., regulatory filings show. Two decades ago, in 1993, Hasbro employed 12,500 people worldwide, 8,000 of them in the U.S.

      Last April, Hasbro agreed to expand operations at 15 LaSalle Square in Providence in exchange for a $1.6 million tax break from the state. The toymaker pledged to spend at least $24 million on renovations and create at least 284 full-time jobs in Rhode Island within three years.

      Hasbro stock fell 2.9% to $34.63 at 12:23 p.m. Tuesday in New York Stock Exchange trading amid a broader market selloff. The company said last month its 2011 profit fell 3% to $385 million despite a 7% jump in sales, which totaled $4.3 billion for the year.
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      Comments 2 Comments
      1. Tycho's Avatar
        Tycho -
        It's still a great investment because I bought a lot of my shares at 18 dollars back in 2000. I hope the personnel improvements reflect in better distribution and production orders.
      1. Warstar's Avatar
        Warstar -
        Hopefully they laid off the 55 people who decided not to release the Transformers Prime "First Edition" figure molds in the United States, limiting them to Japan and Canada only.

        I would have paid a little more for them...but nooooo- I have to resort to Ebay.

        Thanks Hasbro!

        (Pardon my bitterness please)
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