LONDON – Trident Microsystems Inc., a provider of chips for TVs and set-top boxes, has announced that it plans to lay off about 275 employees out of a total of 1,275 so that is can lower its financial breakeven point. The jobs will be cut in all functional areas and are due to go by early in 2012, the company said They are described as a key step in the company's turnaround strategy.
As a result of these cuts and other cost saving measures Trident (Sunnyvale, Calif.) expects to reduce its annual costs by between $40 million and $48 million and reduce its EBITDA breakeven level to approximately $340 million to $360 million in annual revenues. Trident said it expects to incur between $8 million and $10 million in restructuring charges, including approximately $2 million to $3 million in the current quarter ending Sept. 30.
"We are taking decisive actions to better position Trident for success as we enter 2012, given the current mass production timing of our new design wins and the soft economic environment," said Trident's chief executive officer Bami Bastani, in a statement.
Two years ago a deal saw NXP Semiconductors BV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) transfer its television and set-top box chip business to Trident in return for a 60 percent stake in the company. It is not clear what percentage NXP currently holds in the publicly traded Trident.
In the UK I expect most of these people will find jobs, they will have skills that are in short supply. The older ones, well, someone has to make room for the young ones to get started, especially those with young families.
On the other hand, the unskilled job market hasn't improved for generations, since the 1980s. Technology has made many low-end jobs disappear, that's the irony.
The management did fall on its collective sword in January 2011 (see http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4212330/Trident-s-top-execs-resign)
This is the "turn-around" CEO appointed in June 2011 (see http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4216712/Former-Anadigics-CEO-to-lead-Trident-Micro)
Surely to effectively reduce costs, the axe must fall only on the fat, not on the lean. To have gotten 20% overweight is really an indictment of management which should, by rights, fall on its collective sword. Getting in smarter managers would be an effective 'turnaround strategy' otherwise its just a roundabout strategy. This 'cost cutting' is probably massaging the bottom line to placate the beancounters.
And not only that, it's rare that schedules are adjusted to compensate for the reduced workforce - therefore, those that are not cut are 'fortunate' enough to find themselves with a lot of extra work to do, and no raise because "you're lucky to have a job, look at all those people we just fired." Not that I'm bitter ;-)