AMD preparing to lay off 20-30% of workforce

By on October 15, 2012, 12:30 PM

Chipmaker AMD is purportedly preparing to lay off up to one-third of its workforce, according to All Things D and its sources familiar with the company's plans. Amongst positions proposed for elimination are sales and engineering -- a category which was spared from AMD's last bout of job cuts

AMD presently employs just under 12,000 people, according to their latest earnings report. Such a reduction in force may mean AMD could shed itself of roughly 4,000 positions. An announcement is expected in the coming weeks, perhaps as early as this month. The company's next financial report is due on October 18, so an announcement may be made around that time.

Because I know our readers are a curious bunch -- Intel employs 102,000  (pdf) people worldwide. That bit of non-essential trivia comes from Intel's own Q2 annual report.

Although Cnet confirmed All Things D's numbers with their own sources, Reuters dug up its own, different set of numbers. According Reuters' own sources, AMD is only expecting to dismiss about 10-20 percent of its workers. Even so, those numbers are likely large enough to make many investors think twice about the chip maker's future, even if it may not be in immediate danger.

Assuming the rumors are correct, this certainly isn't the first time AMD has shown signs of struggling. Just last year, the chip maker said its goodbyes to roughly 10 percent of its workers. In 2011, AMD also found itself under new leadership with former Lenovo COO Rory Reed. Since heading the company, Reed has shifted AMD's focus from competing with Intel's desktop CPUs to improving mobile APU solutions which combine CPUs and GPUs on a single chip.




User Comments: 13

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captainawesome captainawesome said:

Shame man Both for AMD and the workers

1 person liked this | captainawesome captainawesome said:

I really hope they turn things around. We cannot live in a world where Intel has no competition on the desktop and high-end laptop segment. Although they currently don't have real competition from AMD vs their Core i5 and i7, at least someone is still trying at this stage.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

What captainawesome said. We need someone around to keep Intel honest.

Hope they figure things out. Their CPU releases in the last couple of years have been pretty bad. If they're going to cut heads, they need to do it in the R&D department. Need to get a fresh set of engineers in there to figure out something innovative that will compete with Intel.

noel24 said:

Well, You have to look on the bright side. When AMD bankrupts, Intel with nVidia will be able to stop developement and drive up prices, people will still buy their rigs on a same, lets say $500 budget, which in turn force software companies to adjust requirements to existing bestselling games/programs (or they'll sell like first Crysis, with few copies), therefore making todays middleclass equipement, tomorrow's middleclass, effectively ending rat-race of spending on hardware to meet new games/software requirements.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I kind of wish that Nvidia would absorb AMD and bring a hard fight against Intel on both CPU's and GPU's. Ideally, I would like AMD to survive any way they can.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

This is so sad for the works at AMD and their families.

We really need competition between the big two if there is to be any real progress made.

Things where so different 10 years ago, the Pentium 4 had then been released 2 years earlier and AMD where having a field day with their excellent Athlon range.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

This is so sad for the works at AMD and their families.

We really need competition between the big two if there is to be any real progress made.

Things where so different 10 years ago, the Pentium 4 had then been released 2 years earlier and AMD where having a field day with their excellent Athlon range.

Until Intel began their price-fixing to retain their grip on the market they had no right in and used their fiscal gains from said price-fixing to spend more on R&D. Such a crying shame. Get fined a few million, make a few billion. Annihilate competition in the long-run. Unfortunately the non-fair players make the most headway it seems

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I kind of wish that Nvidia would absorb AMD and bring a hard fight against Intel on both CPU's and GPU's. Ideally, I would like AMD to survive any way they can.
With your wish, you would be handing nVidia the same power with GPU's as you fear from Intel on CPU's.

howzz1854 said:

Never seen a company fall so hard. remember the good old Athlon XP days were the prime era. this company desperately needs some strong leadership and revitalization in management. they got talent... just been poorly managed through all the years.

Blue Falcon said:

The board of directors should have taken no pay for 1 year before getting rid of engineers. The CEO should have forfitted his annual bonus before he can turn the company around. Trinity APUs aren't too bad actually for an HTPC and budget gaming system/laptops but AMD has been unable to execute this strategy. Their HD7000 series desktop GPUs are very competitive but AMD gave up a lot of ground to NV's Kepler in the mobile/laptop space. They are bleeding the hardest in the CPU/server area though and those 2 areas are impossible to fix without a brand new CPU architecture. Unfortunately not only is Intel ahead by having a superior architecture, but it continues to be 1 full node ahead of AMD which makes it impossible for anyone to catch up to them.

AMD's only bet now is if software starts to take advantage of their GPUs and their APUs take off but we know software takes half a decade or more to catch up to hardware. Q6600 launched in summer of 2007 and even now hardly that many games or programs take full advantage of 4 cores in the mainstream segment.

I just hope AMD pulls through as there needs to be competition. AMD is basically squeezed in a shrinking CPU/GPU market as consumers are gravitating towards tablets and smartphones and AMD has nothing in that space.

Can't see the GPU space growing in 2013 much as most games continue to be console ports where even HD5850/GTX560Ti is good enough for most people.

ikesmasher said:

Apus are amazing for the price. especially in laptops. try playnig BF3 on a 400 dollar intel laptop. not happening. Same for desktops.

APUs=extremely underrated.

EEatGDL said:

I'm with captainawesome; and add that I think not even the government, the antitrust regulations nor Intel itself will let AMD go to bankcrupcy. I think in the most extreme scenario will happen something similar like with Apple-Microsoft when the latter invested $150 M in stock without board participation. Very sad for the next-to be fired workers.

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

If they're going to cut heads, they need to do it in the R&D department. Need to get a fresh set of engineers in there to figure out something innovative that will compete with Intel.

Actually thats the last thing they should do (BTW: Thats exactly what the AMD BoD are aiming at). How long do you think it would take for new engineers to get their designs from paper to retail ? How do you know that the designs they come up with today will be relevant when they're ready for primetime? How many qualified engineers and architects would move to AMD knowing the fiefdom-type setup that prevails at AMD ?

AMD's woes start and finish with management. Who dictates the companys strategy and direction? Who hires the CEO's ?

Well, You have to look on the bright side. When AMD bankrupts, Intel with nVidia will be able to stop developement and drive up prices

You don't seem to understand how business works. The retail and enterprise sectors still require an ongoing development regardless of the number of competitors. IBM pretty much has the big iron sector to itself -it doesn't stop them innovating with Power7. People are now used to paying $500 or less for an entry level desktop, that expectation in the future still needs to be met.

I kind of wish that Nvidia would absorb AMD and bring a hard fight against Intel on both CPU's and GPU's. Ideally, I would like AMD to survive any way they can.

Nvidia doesn't need AMD. The x86 and x86-64 cross licence agreement between AMD and Intel I don't think is transferable. Nvidia could merge with AMD I suppose, but why would they? Nvidia then would be in the same position that AMD are in now- namely having to slug it out with an overwhelming market share leader in Intel. Nvidia have already set their course in the processor market by going with ARM (Tegra/Maxwell).

The board of directors should have taken no pay for 1 year before getting rid of engineers. The CEO should have forfitted his annual bonus before he can turn the company around.

QFT.

As I pointed out in another forum, more than half of the BoD have been hanging around since long before Barcelona's protracted problems and have overseen every misstep since. The board hired Hector, the board hired Dirk, the board signed off on [link] .

Robert Palmer- director since 1999*

Bruce Clafin- director since 2003

W.Michael Barnes - director since 2003*

H.Paulett Eberhart- director since 2004

John Caldwell- director since 2006

* Two of the three directors that make up the Audit and Finance Committee.

Compensation and benefits to the board amounted to $3+million in 2009 - the lowest performing year for the stock

AMD's only bet now is if software starts to take advantage of their GPUs and their APUs take off but we know software takes half a decade or more to catch up to hardware.

Even longer when you're relying on third parties to develop it. For years, AMD followers have been railing against Intel ( compilers) and Nvidia (CUDA) for pushing their own software enviroments, while AMD pontificated about open source...but up until recently did virtually nothing to ensure that those open source based software initiatives achieved fruition in a timely manner.

So, on Thursday, Rory will stand up and tell the world that competition and slow economic growth are the reason that AMD has to throw $100 million worth of Llano APU's in the trash, and that everything is fine because AMD is evolving into a future looking, forward thinking, streamlined company that has already started charting its road to success

The truth of the matter is more likely that Rory is firing enough employees so that the next owner of AMD doesn't have to, or that the board can receive a larger compensation package for reducing labour charges.

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