Unix software vendor The Santa Cruz Operation Inc. (SCO) said Thursday that it plans to reduce its worldwide workforce by 19 per cent, or around 190 employees. The job cuts will result in the company taking a charge of US$5 million to $6 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30.

SCO said the actions are designed to help it meet staffing goals set for its planned merger with Linux vendor Caldera Inc., as well as to improve its ongoing profitability

“In order to be successful, we have to make some tough decisions,” Doug Michels, SCO’s CEO, said in a company statement. “This reduction will lower expenses to better reflect SCO’s recent performance in our server software and professional services divisions.”

Following shareholder and regulatory approval of the merger, SCO said it would change its name to Tarantella Inc. – formerly the name of one of three main SCO divisions. The Tarantella division offers application broker software.

Caldera would acquire SCO’s remaining two divisions, which provide server software and professional services.

The staff cuts announced yesterday are intended to “properly size” the two divisions that Caldera plans to buy to suit its post-merger business model. Any necessary cutbacks to the Tarantella division have already been made, SCO said.

SCO, based in Santa Cruz, Calif., can be reached at http://www.sco.com/. Caldera, based in Orem, Utah, is at http://www.calderasystems.com/.