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.
iniewski, that's a good question. The rumor I heard, but not confirmed, is that if you are a professional engineer currently paid $100K, you get $100K for retirement money + $200K as an incentive for early retirement.
That, indeed, ain't bad at all.
"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."
Sounds almost like we're talking about products instead of people.
You are absolutely right. If you're talking about percentage, it's probably negligible.
But think about Major League Baseball. 20 years ago, only Nomo and a few other Japanese players were playing in the US. It's still a small percentage but more Japanese ball players are visible in the US today.
Unlike Chinese, Japanese never had a diaspora. But you may start seeing more skilled Japanese semi professionals soon outside Japan.
"No official data has been released about how many Japanese semiconductor engineers have already left their employers and are currently working at non-Japanese companies in South Korea, Taiwan or in China. Some suspect that there are many."
I would love to see the data if any. But I suspect there arent many. Over the past few years I guess atleast 100K people would have been displaced from their jobs in semi/CE sector. The few 100's hired by GloFo is probably only a very small % of the displaced workers. In addition,based on my experience of working for a semi company in Japan, most semi engineers doesnt speak English, which is also a major hurdle for relocation.