Qualcomm to lay off 1,258 employees from its California offices

Chipmaker Qualcomm is planning to lay off 1,258 employees from its offices in California by December this year, multiple filings with the state’s Employee Development Department showed.

The layoffs, which will impact staffers from Qualcomm’s San Diego and Santa Clara offices, include positions such as engineers, analysts, software developers, and staff from the financial, legal, and human resources employees.

“This notice is to inform you that Qualcomm Incorporated and its affiliated and subsidiary entities (”Qualcomm”) is reducing its workforce at its San Diego office locations….This will impact approximately 1,064 employees in San Diego, and the employment terminations will begin on or about December 13, 2023,” the company’s legal counsel wrote in a formal notification.

“The reductions are scheduled to be permanent and do not involve the closure of a plant,” the counsel added.

In another similar notice, the company said it would lay off at least 194 employees from its Santa Clara offices, starting December 13, 2023.

As per the two notices, engineering staff of varying seniority levels were the most impacted, followed by analysts. Qualcomm currently employs approximately 50,000 employees globally.

Trouble brewing for months

The layoff notifications follow Qualcomm’s financial struggles over the past several months. In August, Qualcomm’s president and chief executive officer Cristiano Amon, during an earnings call, said the company was taking a conservative view of the market and would proactively take additional cost actions to deliver maximum value to stockholders in an uncertain environment.

For the quarter ended June, the chipmaker posted revenue of $8.45 billion, down 23% year-on-year. Net income for the company was down 52% year-on-year.  

Qualcomm is not the only chipmaker that has laid off staffers in the last year. Around the same time last year, Intel’s Habana Labs laid off 100 staffers.

AMD and Nvidia on the other hand have not laid off any staffers to date. The two companies have been able to monetize the proliferation of generative AI, which requires advanced AI chips. In contrast, Qualcomm’s business operations are reliant on its chips, which are mostly used in smartphones and IoT devices.

Other large technology vendors have continued to downsize over the last year and a half due to challenging macroeconomic conditions.

Layoffs in 2023 have far outpaced the number of job cuts formally announced in 2022, as tech giants including Amazon, Cisco, Facebook parent company Meta, Microsoft, Google, IBM, SAP, and Salesforce — as well as many smaller companies — announced sweeping job cuts.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.


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