TAIPEI May 23 China's embattled LeEco aims to
cut its U.S. workforce to as few as 60 people from around 500
earlier this year, as the Netflix-to-Tesla-like group
streamlines global operations to shake off a cash crunch, a
person with knowledge of the plan said.
The company has spread itself from electric vehicles and
online television content to sports and smartphones in a little
over a decade, employing 14,000 people globally as of late last
year. But the pace of expansion has strained its finances.
LeEco did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The firm, headed by founder Jia Yueting, has been pulling
back from expansion plans in the United States and other
overseas markets, selling property in Silicon Valley and pulling
out of a deal to buy U.S. TV maker Vizio Inc.
The firm on Sunday said Jia would step down as chief
executive of LeEco's core listed unit Leshi Internet Information
& Technology Corp Beijing, ceding control of the
most profitable part of the business empire.
The person said the time frame for making the cuts was
unclear, but that the plan was part of a strategy to pull back
from global markets and focus on China and core units.
"They will focus more on China. What they say about focusing
on listed units, that's pretty much what's going to happen," he
said. "If you're looking for trends to follow in the future,
you'll probably see a continued focus on the TV business."
LeEco founder Jia had as recently as last year said he hoped
to employ 12,000 people at headquarters in the U.S. But in
November, he said the firm was facing "big company disease" and
was battling a cash crunch after expanding too fast.
(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by