(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 12--Intel plans to eliminate more than 400 jobs in its global information technology department by the middle of next month, according to an internal memo obtained by The Oregonian.
Those workers won't necessarily be laid off -- they could find other jobs in the company -- but the cutbacks reflect Intel's ongoing effort to reduce its worldwide employment by about 5 percent this year in the face of flat sales and the competitive market for microprocessors in mobile devices. That works out to about 5,400 jobs at a company that employed 108,000 at the end of last year.
The memo, from Intel chief information officer Kim Stevenson, said the cuts are designed to preserve areas critical to Intel's success. She wrote to IT employees last week to notify them that the company would begin working immediately to inform employees whose jobs are going away and planned to notify everyone by April 15.
Intel declined to comment on the memo or confirm its authenticity, but spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the numbers and timetable are roughly correct and reflect the company's previously announced efforts to downsize. Other parts of the business are operating on different business plans, he said, and the IT cuts don't necessarily reflect the size or timing of reductions elsewhere in the company.
Though based in Santa Clara, Calif., Intel's largest and most advanced operations are in Washington County. The company has more than 17,000 Oregon employees. It's not clear how many of Intel's IT jobs are in Oregon -- Mulloy said IT work is spread across sites around the world.
When Intel eliminates jobs, it does so through a three-stage process known as "redeployment." Laid-off workers can accept a severance package and leave immediately, or they can remain on the job for two months while they search for another position inside or outside the company. If they haven't found another job by the end of that period, they lose their jobs and receive a reduced severance package.
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is struggling to adapt to surging demand for smartphones and tablets that predominantly use microprocessor designs from rival ARM Holdings. Intel forecasts 2014 will be its fourth straight year of flat revenue.
While Intel has said it expects 40-million Intel-based tablets will sell this year, up fourfold from 2013, its share of the smartphone market remains negligible.
-- Mike Rogoway; twitter: @rogoway; phone: 503-294-7699
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