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AMD Lays Off 10% of Workforce to Reduce Cost

by on November 3, 2011

Sad news from AMD today, as they announce an unfortunate 10% Workforce Reduction (1,400 employees by some counts) that they hope will reduce operating expenses by $118 million in 2012.

“Reducing our cost structure and focusing our global workforce on key growth opportunities will strengthen AMD’s competitiveness and allow us to aggressively pursue a balanced set of strategic activities designed to accelerate future growth,” said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO. “The actions we are taking are designed to improve our ability to consistently address the needs of our global customer base and stake leadership positions in lower power, emerging markets and the cloud.”

It’s not terribly surprising, as AMD has been having a bit of a rough patch compared to NVidia and Intel.  Their CPU’s are falling short of Intel’s performance figures, and their GPU’s are falling in market-share compared to NVidia and the new Intel Sandy-Bridge.  With Intel rapidly entering the GPU space and NVidia moving powerfully into the mobile space, AMD will soon have to find a new way to compete.

Update:  Quickly doing the math ($118 Million over 1,400 employees), that’s an average $85k per employee.  Not CEO’s, but not exactly assembly line workers either.

Update #2 9PM: More info, this time from BSN via a Letter from AMD CEO Rory Read.

From what we heard, of the 1400 people that AMD laid off, there is about 60% of the marketing department, with known executives such as Patrick “Pat”Moorhead (VP Marketing), John Volkmann (VP of Brand), Dave Kroll (Head of PR), complete product reviewer support team all getting the boot.

The cuts however, did not touch just the marketing and sales staff. Key Fusion engineers were let go as well.
As the third paragraph states, AMD will announce its new course, codenamed “Project WIN”on November 9th, 2011.

via AMD Optimizes Cost Structure to Enhance Competitiveness and Accelerate Growth.