As a result of a repositioning program to concentrate on target markets and reduce costs, Praxair Inc., Danbury, CT, will lay off about 750 employees, or approximately 3% of the company's global workforce.

"It is clear we must focus our attention on the best value-creation opportunities, and we must reallocate resources away from other areas less critical to achieving our goals," stated Praxair chairman and CEO Dennis Reilley during a teleconference addressing the actions. The repositioning agenda was set after a 90-day internal review.

The company's industrial gases business will be reorganized into four regional units in an effort to strengthen customer service. In addition to its base industrial gases business, Praxair will focus on areas it has determined to be growth markets: semiconductor materials, food and beverage, surface technologies and metal technologies.