DUPONT SHIFTING "CENTER OF GRAVITY" TO OVERSEAS MARKET - "Giant Sucking Sound" From Asia And Latin American

DuPont is shifting the assignments of senior managers, a shakeup that reflects the company's greater focus on emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.

I.B.M. had just sent a holiday chill through its American employees with its plans to ship thousands of high-paying white-collar jobs overseas to lower-paid foreign workers.

DuPont announced on December First that it was beginning to "shift the center of gravity" to overseas markets, which is expected to save 900 million dollars by the end of 2005.

Some analysts had predicted DuPont would announce cuts of as many as 2,500 senior jobs worldwide as part of the restructuring plan.

The job cuts will be made when the company releases its quarterly earnings statement in April.

The company has more than 78,000 employees in 70 countries, with three facilities in West Virginia - Belle, Martinsburg, and Parkersburg.

The changes in senior management staff assignments are described as "organizational alignment."