Qualcomm to shed over 1,000 staff in California, plus some Brits, starting in December

Vice-presidents, engineers among those scheduled to have a rotten Christmas

Chip designer Qualcomm has revealed it intends to shed over 1,000 California-based employees, delivering on previously foreshadowed plans to address its economic woes.

Qualcomm reported a near-sixty-percent profit plunge in August – largely due to a slowdown in demand for smartphones leading to lower sales of its silicon for such devices.

At the time, CEO Cristiano Amon told investors "We're taking a conservative view of the market, and we'll be proactively taking additional cost actions."

In the processor maker's results filing it foreshadowed "restructuring actions to enable continued investments in key growth and diversification opportunities" and explained that those activities would "consist largely of workforce reductions."

Reports suggest Qualcomm has filed a California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice – the paperwork required to inform the State Government of looming layoffs. Qualcomm's notice reportedly warns of 1,258 workers in California alone – 194 in the Bay Area and a further 1,064 in its home city San Diego.

Execs, including vice presidents, will be axed. So will hundreds of engineers: reportedly more than 750 of them. Qualcomm employs about 50,000 globally, up from 45,000 in 2021, the year it bought Nuvia.

Cruelly, the ax will fall starting from December 13.

A friend of The Reg tells us around 150 jobs will go in the UK, too. Yet Qualcomm recently found a rumored £180 million ($220m) to sponsor British soccer team Manchester United for three years, with the Snapdragon CPU brand to be featured on team shirts.

The sponsorship creates an interesting metaphor: Manchester United has underperformed for years, and its recent investments have not led to desired improvements in performance. Which is maybe not quite the story Qualcomm wants to associate with Snapdragon.

The Register has spotted a mention of job losses in Arizona.

The Register will seek comment from Qualcomm about the disposition of the redundancies.

Qualcomm is not the only semiconductor maker shedding staff. Intel has made plenty of cuts, and even cut wages for those who remain – but at the same time created additional training courses to create more skilled workers.

But the jobs for those trainees won't be the sort of engineers Qualcomm is dismissing. Instead, they're destined to work in chipmaking plants – of which plenty are being built thanks to the billions in subsidies being dispersed under the US CHIPS Act.

Demand for engineers is high elsewhere: Taiwan's TSMC has flagged its intention to hire thousands of engineers. ®

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