Canon U.S.A. Inc. in Melville recently laid off about 60 employees, according to some of the affected workers and people familiar with the company.
The layoffs were primarily in Canon’s camera division, the sources said. The Japanese company also sells printers, medical equipment and industrial products, with Melville serving as its Americas headquarters.
The layoffs took place earlier this month, two of the affected employees told Newsday.
Asked about the job cuts, Canon spokeswoman Melissa Moritz said the company “is constantly reviewing business needs and organizational structures to help ensure that we are best positioned for future growth and development. At this time, we are confident that with our new organizational structure, we are well positioned for future growth and success.”
Canon employed 1,569 people in Melville in 2017, according to the most recent state records. It must report its local employment annually to the state and to Suffolk County, both of which aided in the construction of Canon’s $500 million headquarters near Exit 49 of the Long Island Expressway.
The company moved from Lake Success to Melville in 2013 after a 25-year search for a new home. It has exceeded the employment promises made to the state and Suffolk so far. State records show Canon's employment cannot fall below 1,360 people or it would have to pay back some of the grant money and tax-break aid it has received.
Days before the layoffs, Canon Inc. CEO Fujio Mitarai said the company would be hiring more people in the United States to support growing divisions, such as medical equipment. “We will give priority to strengthening our overseas sales structure,” he said in a March 1 speech in Tokyo. “We will focus on expanding our sales force in the United States.”
Canon purchased Toshiba Medical Systems in 2016 and by last year had combined it with Canon BioMedical Inc. The new division, Canon Medical Systems Corp., is headquartered in Japan, not in Melville as Canon BioMedical had been.
The merger led Canon U.S.A. to make unspecified job cuts last year, according to two former employees, who requested anonymity because they are searching for new jobs.
Canon Inc. reported a profit of $2.3 billion last year, a decline of about 5 percent from 2017. Sales totaled $35.6 billion, down 3 percent from a year earlier. In the Americas, which the Melville office oversees, sales were off 2.8 percent, year over year.
CANON U.S.A. Inc. at a glance
What it does: Americas division of Japanese camera and imaging giant Canon Inc.
Sales (2018): About $10 billion; highest among Canon Inc.'s markets
Employees (2017): 1,569
CEO: Joe Adachi
History: Arrived on LI in 1971; moved to new, $500 million building in Melville in 2013
Sources: Canon, Newsday research