Micron to Cut 15% of Workforce

Cites oversupply of memory chips

Semiconductor maker Micron Technology Inc. announced plans on Oct. 9 to cut its workforce by 15% over the next two years because of slowing demand and oversupply of memory chips.

Micron, which has 23,500 employees worldwide, said the restructuring would include shutting down production of NAND flash memory in a joint venture between Micron and Intel Corp. known as IM Flash Technologies (IMFT).

"The combination of declining customer demand and product oversupply in the marketplace has driven selling prices for NAND flash memory significantly below manufacturing costs," Micron said.

Micron said most of the job cuts will come in Boise, Idaho, where the NAND facility is based and where Micron has its headquarters.

Micron entered into the joint venture with Intel in November 2005 in a bid by the two firms to join forces against Asian chip-makers in making NAND, used in consumer electronic devices such as portable music players and cameras.

"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 Micron chief executive Steve Appleton. Micron, which reported losses of more than a billion dollars last year, said the restructuring would cost the company some $60 million.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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