Micron cuts 15 per cent of staff

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Chipmaker Micron is set to drop some 3,000 US employees as part of a massive round of company cutbacks.

The company said on Thursday that it would be restructuring its business in a set of moves which include a 15 per cent reduction in its staffing and the closure of one of its primary NAND memory chip plants.

The first round of cuts will be a voluntary program and the company expects to complete all of the layoffs within the next two years.

Many of the cuts will come from the company's NAND manufacturing operations in Boise, Idaho, where production of the chips will cease and lead to the termination of some 1,500 positions. The company expects the move to yield some US$115 million in additional revenues after restructuring costs.

The facility had been producing the chips as part of a joint venture with Intel. As a result of the shutdown, Micron expects NAND output to drop by 35,000 wafers per month. The company blamed the move on a sagging NAND chip market and oversupply from chipmakers.

"Micron is in a strong position relative to our competitors, as evidenced by our balance sheet and cash flow, but we are not immune to the difficult global market conditions that are affecting us all," said chairman and chief executive Steve Appleton.

"Operation shutdowns and related workforce reductions are always painful, but we are pursuing these actions to maintain the competitiveness of the company."
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