Word of layoffs is depressing and heart-wrenching, especially so when it takes place on the massive scale that hit workers at Renesas Electronics.
Last fall, close to 7,500 employees (7,446 to be exact) --aged 40 and above–took the early retirement package. The ailing Japanese chipmaker last month announced further cuts, with plans to eliminate another 3,000 jobs.
Conventional wisdom dictates that many of those thousands of people may not be able to find another full-time job ever again, despite their lifetime dedication to the company.
Think again. The key word missing in the sentence above is, “in Japan.”
At least hundreds, if not thousands, of skilled semiconductor engineers who are retiring early from Renesas will end up working for chip companies outside Japan.
As word on the street in Tokyo goes, GlobalFoundries turns out to be one of several astute companies aggressively pursuing skilled Japanese engineering professionals. They’re keeping a close eye on the Renesas exodus.
Since breaking ground on Fab 8 in Saratoga, NY., GlobalFoundries has hired just over 2,000 people in New York state. The company expects that to increase to about 3,000 by the end of 2014. About 90 percent of the company’s New York workforce is composed of people in technical and operations roles. Asked about hiring Japanese engineers, a company spokesman noted, “We definitely hired some skilled professionals from Japan, but I can’t provide details of numbers or percentages.”
Thirty-five Japanese engineers have already been hired by GlobalFoundries’ regional office in Japan, according to an industry source based in Tokyo, who spoke on condition of anonymity. These engineers are getting prepped to be sent to New York as an initial batch, with as many as another 100 to 200 to follow, the source said.