Lexmark International on Friday told a "very small number" of sales and marketing employees that their jobs would be eliminated by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said.
The cuts come in the company's laser printer division, which had been hiring additional sales and marketing personnel since 2007.
The company has come under criticism from analysts for the expenses associated with those hires, but CEO Paul Curlander had defended it, saying the company's investment in research and development yielded a solid product line that was capable of winning more business.
The company's third-quarter profit dropped 19 percent year-over-year, prompting questions about expenses. During a call with analysts, Curlander still spoke highly of the additional hires.
"We've seen steady growth in the revenue generated by those additional reps," he told Min Park of Goldman Sachs.
Lexmark spokeswoman Kathy Hillyard said the company "believes that we do have the products for the marketplace and we believe with this restructuring, we are in line with the market and will be successful."
The affected employees, who are in Lexington and in other offices across the United States, will receive severance packages, extension of health insurance, career assistance benefits and early retirement benefits if they are eligible.
Hillyard said the reorganization affected all levels. Lexington's employee base will remain around 3,000 full-time employees, Hillyard said, citing the small number of employees affected by the reorganization.
"It was just trying to realign with our resources and making sure that we're aligning all of our resources to the market need," Hillyard said. "The adjustment is unfortunate but is necessary."
She said the economic slowdown was a factor in the move but not the sole factor.