Gems TV Chief Resigns amid Layoffs

Cost cutting at Gems TV has resulted in the resignation of its top official and the layoffs of 35 percent of its global workforce, according to The Straits Time newspaper in Singapore .

Jason Choo, who holds the largest individual stake in the international electronic retailer, will become non-executive chairman in a move to reduce expenses, the newspaper reports.

Choo was replaced by group chief operating officer Tony Hillyer, 50, who will also join the board of the company based in the Cayman Islands with its stock listed in Singapore, the newspaper reports. Its U.S. offices are based in Reno, Nev.

The firm, which makes gems in Thailand that are then sold via TV channels and online in Britain, the United States, Japan, and elsewhere, is cutting its worldwide staff from 1,700 to 1,100, the newspaper reports. Its Thai-based workforce was the hardest hit with a 41 percent cut, or roughly 517 jobs.

Gems TV in the first quarter, ended Sept 30, lost $13.8 million, more than double the $5.6 million it lost in the same period of the prior year. Revenue for the quarter fell 22 percent to to $37.4 million.