By Lenore Fedow
Swarovski introduced lab-grown diamonds in 16 colors at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week in January. The company is cutting 600 jobs as part of its restructuring plan. (©Swarovski)
Wattens, Austria—Swarovski plans to cut 600 jobs, or about 2 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring plan.

"The international luxury market has been hit hard by the crisis," the company said in a statement to WWD.

It noted “a massive decline in sales” in its first quarter as demand took a nosedive in Asia and the United States.

New CEO Robert Buchbauer is looking to streamline the company, making changes to its organizational structure, including the merging of marketing and sales activities.

One-third of the cuts will take place at the company’s headquarters in Austria’s Tyrol region, with 200 jobs eliminated as part of the merger.

Swarovski said all business processes and activities are “currently being reviewed to ensure that they are in line with both the strategic realignment and economic reality.”
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Buchbauer, the great-great-grandson of company founder Daniel Swarovski, was recently appointed to the CEO position amid an executive shake-up at the company.

The changes included the appointment of fashion veteran Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert as Swarovski’s first creative director, the departure of Markus Langes-Swarovski from the executive board, and a reportedly diminished role for Nadja Swarovski.

Swarovski employs about 34,500 people worldwide and has manufacturing facilities in Austria, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Serbia and the U.S.

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