January 16, 2009
Advanced Micro Devices, which is struggling against tough competition from Intel and a bleak economy, announced Friday it would cut 1,100 jobs, reduce worker and executive pay, and suspend contributions to employee retirement accounts.
The microprocessor maker said the across-the-board pay cuts would be temporary but are necessary to "navigate the turbulent economic conditions." The pay reductions will begin in February. Executive chairman Hector Ruiz and CEO Dirk Meyer will take a 20% cut in their base salaries. Managers with titles of VP and above will take a 15% reduction, employees not eligible for overtime will take a 10% cut, and workers eligible for overtime will see paychecks chopped by 5%. In addition, the company said it would suspend matching contributions to employees' retirement savings plans in the United States and Canada. The latest round of job cuts includes 200 positions related to an earlier plan to divest AMD's business in chips for handheld devices. The 1,100 jobs amount to 9% of the company's remaining workforce following the spin-off of its manufacturing operations announced last year. The job cuts are expected to be completed in the first quarter of this year and are in addition to a 10% reduction in the company's workforce announced in April. About 1,600 jobs were lost in those cuts. "These actions, while difficult, will allow AMD to better navigate the turbulent economic conditions while protecting our core capability to execute our technology road maps and position AMD for long-term success," the company said in an e-mailed statement. AMD's financial struggles began long before the start of the economic downturn. The company suffered a string of quarterly losses before the recession that amounted to billions of dollars. As part of it strategy toward profitability, the company has spun off its manufacturing operations into a company in which AMD will share ownership with Advanced Technology Investment, formed by the Abu Dhabi government. AMD last month warned that revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 would be 25% lower than the previous quarter, because of weaker-than-expected demand for its products. The company is scheduled to release its quarterly report Jan. 22. AMD in the third quarter reported its eighth consecutive quarterly loss. However, the loss was significantly narrower than the same period a year ago. The company reached its goal of operational profitability in the quarter, but still reported a net loss.
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