AMD Cuts Employees, Compensation

By  |  Friday, January 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm

amdlogoDeflation is rearing its head in the chip-making business. Advanced Micro Devices intends to reduce its workforce by nearly 9 percent and will reduce employee compensation during its first quarter.

Even its top executives are taking a hit to their base salaries (no word about their bonuses); the rank and file will see their incomes drop on a staggered basis depending on their employment status. Other perks, including the company’s 401(k) matching program are being suspended indefinitely.

AMD must take difficult and prudent steps to reduce its cost in response to the worldwide economic downturn, it explained in a statement to the press.

This should come as no surprise considering there has been a corresponding downturn in the sales of semiconductors. Chip sales dipped to $20.8 billion in 2008 from $23.1 billion in 2007, according to a recent report by the Semiconductor Industry Association. Public companies like AMD are going to respond to reduced demand by cutting expenses, because they have to act in the interest of shareholders.

The company is not selling the copper plumbing–yet. While its sales have dipped, it still remains second largest semiconductor producer in the world next to Intel, and it has laid out long term road maps for future technologies. Further, new chips designed for low-cost computers, such as its Neo processor, could entice spendthrift consumers to open up their wallets.

Should PC buyers worry about AMD’s prospects or even shy away from buying machines that use its chip? Not really. Companies¬† that big don’t just close up shop overnight, and AMD is also highly unlikely to skimp on its manufacturing processes or R&D, lest it risk damaging its brand or ceding even more market share to Intel. Customers can buy AMD-based systems with confidence.

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