Woodward Governor, Fort Collins, Colo. Chad Collins / BizWest

Woodward lays off, furloughs 11% of entire staff, plans additional reductions

FORT COLLINS — Days after it ended a $6.3 billion merger effort with Hexcel Corp. (NYSE: HXL), aerospace parts producer Woodward Inc. (Nasdaq: WWD) said it laid off or furloughed 11% of the company’s full-time workforce.

In a disclosure filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, the Fort Collins-based company said many of these layoffs occurred April 8. It also plans to reduce its workforce by 4% through the rest of 2020, resulting in a 15% decline in its company-wide workforce.

The company specifically noted furloughs at its aerospace fuel and control systems plant near Rockford, Illinois, which will last approximately eight weeks.

A Woodward spokeswoman said the layoffs are across all of the company’s U.S. locations, with 123 expected in Colorado.

Woodward employs 1,712 people alone in its various plants across Northern Colorado, according to figures reported in January.

The company plans to pay out $13 million in severance packages.

Woodward and Hexcel aborted its merger this week, citing the rapid deterioration of demand for aerospace parts and the need to protect its day-to-day operations. Commercial airlines have been in financial distress as air traffic plummets in the U.S. due to fears over spreading the novel coronavirus, which has led to cancelled orders and lost revenue for planemakers like Boeing Inc. (NYSE: BA), Airbus SE and its suppliers.

Woodward also said this week it plans to pivot to making ventilators for patients suffering from life-threatening cases of COVID-19.