Jobs go as Toshiba closes UK office

Several people have been made redundant at Toshiba’s UK lighting business as the company seeks to cut costs and shift its focus to the B2B and wholesale markets.

François Séguineau, who heads lighting for Toshiba in Europe, told Lux  the company had decided to change its business model in the UK ‘to be more focussed on channel partners’.

The change resulted in 'a few' job losses, he said, including product manager Edward Lees, and the closure of the UK office.

A slimmed-down sales force will remain in the UK while back office functions including order processing and marketing will be centralised in Germany, as they already are for some other European countries. Günter Manske (pictured), based in Germany, will head Toshiba Lighting Systems UK.

Séguineau said the UK sales team would focus on selling lamps and ‘commodity’ products in high volume to ‘wholesalers and companies in charge of relamping projects’, rather than targeting the domestic market. ‘It’s a volume business today,’ he said.

‘We know the market is growing but there’s strong competition on pricing and margins, so we want to grow but we want to grow profitably,’ said Séguineau.