by Dan Cook
In late April, Intel announced it was laying off 784 Portland area employees. Certainly PNSQC members and supporters were among those who got their pink slips from Oregon’s largest private sector employer.
Then on May 9, Intel dropped another bombshell: Even more layoffs will be forthcoming if other employees who have been offered buyouts don’t take them.
The Oregonian reported in a May 10 article (“Intel warns employees: Take the buyout or face more layoffs”) that employees who had been offered a voluntary separation package received a letter from the bosses that warned, “If we don’t meet our targets, we will take follow-on actions, including involuntary headcount reductions. Those impacted by these follow-on actions may not receive packages comparable to the ones currently on offer.”
Suddenly, the 784 job announcement began to look like Round One in a major belt-tightening by this tech giant. Your intrepid PNSQC blogger wanted to know if others thought this was:
• the beginning of the next recession,
• just a regional economic hiccup, or
• merely an Intel specific event that will primarily turn talent loose to be snapped up by other tech employers.
Three PNSQCers responded to my initial inquiry. Their feedback is below. We’d love to hear from more of you. You can respond to the blog post comment section below, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share your thoughts!
Now, here’s what PNSQC volunteers Rita Casaverde, Brian Gaudreau and Phil Lew had to say about the layoffs:
Brian: “I think it is Intel specific and that other Pacific NW companies will enjoy the skilled labor force addition for open roles. Intel is heavily dependent on device (computer, laptop, tablet, gaming) sales to drive revenue. With more focus on cloud technologies there is less demand for newer chips since existing devices seem to connect to cloud platforms and services just fine for consumers.”
Rita: “To me it seems like it’s bigger than Intel. A lot of software companies have been having layoffs, including mine (February), and less hiring has been happening in other industries as well. I’d search for layoffs on Twitter and find all companies that have recently done it.”
Phil: “It’s more than just Portland, more than just software, it’s coming. The layoffs at Intel are the manifestation of the general economy. Check out this Bloomberg article suggesting the next recession is just around the corner.”