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AMD is preparing to lay off thousands

Bleak times
Mon Oct 15 2012, 12:21
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CHIP DESIGNER AMD is preparing a big round of layoffs according to multiple sources as it tries to get back into the black.

Last week AMD revised its revenue forecasts down considerably due to weak demand and now multiple sources have said that the firm is preparing to lay off a significant percentage of its workforce. According to three sources that spoke to Allthingsd, AMD is preparing to cut anywhere between 10 percent and 30 percent of its 11,000 employees.

AMD's financial situation is not looking particularly good with the firm already announcing more than $500m of losses this year, and its third quarter is not looking much better. CEO Rory Read has already slashed costs by laying off people, mostly in the firm's marketing department, but according to latest reports this time the cuts will focus on core engineering and sales.

The INQUIRER heard from a source last month that AMD was preparing for mass layoffs and that it had been drawing up redundancy lists for some time, with employee morale being very low. When this was put in front of a VP at AMD, a 'no comment' rather than denial was offered.

AMD's share price has been tanking and on Friday the firm's stock closed down over 14 percent, with its market capitalisation dropping below $2bn. At that price, the book value of AMD's assets is considerably higher than its market value, meaning it might be a tempting proposition for a corporate raider to buy the company and break it up for a profit.

While there is little doubt about Read's decision to reduce the size of AMD's talent pool, the size of the pending workforce cut is an open question and might see the firm being forced to scale back its product ambitions. Given that AMD is competitive in graphics and not CPUs at the moment, it seems likely that engineers on the ex-ATI side of the firm are sitting a bit more comfortably than the CPU designers. µ


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