Intel is planning a major, company-wide staff reduction later this month, sources inside the company claim.
Portland's The Oregonian newspaper claims to have obtained a confidential internal Intel document explaining that the company plans to keep its expenses flat in 2015, which will include reducing headcount by an unspecified number.
The plan apparently comes in response to Intel's most recent quarterly earnings report, in which sales for Intel's Client Computing division – the company's largest single reporting segment – were down 8.4 per cent, year on year, a result that CEO Brian Krzanich described as "even lower than expected."
At the time, Krzanich said the results emphasized the importance of "continuing to execute on our growth strategy." But at the same time, Intel revised its outlook for fiscal 2015 from growth in the "mid-single digits percentage points" to no growth at all.
It also reduced what it planned to spend on mergers, acquisitions, and R&D by $300m from the estimate it gave following the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.
If it follows through with those cuts, it could very easily hit Intel's Oregon operations, which the company describes as "Intel's largest and most comprehensive site in the world" and "a global center of semiconductor research and manufacturing and the anchor of Oregon's economy."
Intel currently employs around 17,500 people in the state, spread across six campuses in Washington County, west of Portland.
If Chipzilla is planning to reduce that headcount, it wouldn't be the first time. In its most recent quarterly report, the company said that "restructuring actions that were approved in 2015 impacted approximately 1,400 employees" and that about 9,000 employees have received "severance and benefit arrangements" since the third quarter of 2013.
Note that further job cuts don't necessarily mean layoffs. If past Intel statements are any indication, buyouts, early retirements, and attrition – meaning people leave of their own accord and aren't replaced – would all also be on the table.
When asked, an Intel spokesman declined to comment on the report. ®