AMD layoffs hit Singapore

Chipmaker confirms Singapore has been affected in latest series of planned job cuts following a report stating more than 50 Singapore employees given pink slips in first of two rounds of downsizing.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Journalist on

Chipmaker AMD has confirmed reports that planned job cuts have hit its Singapore operations, but declined to give more information other than reiterating that Singapore remains a "vital part" of its global operations.

Local broadsheet The Straits Times reported on Thursday that more than 50 employees, mostly technicians, were laid off from AMD's Singapore office yesterday. The report added that there might be a second round of retrechment taking place in December.

Asked to confirm the report, AMD declined to ratify the number of people axed. Instead, a spokesperson said the chipmaker "is working with relevant government agencies to assist the employees affected in [the global restructuring plan]". This restructuring is meant to transform its Singapore operations toward higher value-added activities, he explained. The local office currently acts as its manufacturing base and Asia-Pacific regional headquarters for sales and marketing, according to AMD's Web site.

"Singapore is a vital part of AMD's global operations, and our Singapore site will remain a strategic part of AMD's business," the spokesperson added. "Our Singapore site will remain as an engineering center of excellence for test development, and we will continue to focus on new product introduction and more advanced and complex development activities."

The company's reorganization was announced earlier this month by CEO Rory Read, who took over the reins this August. It plans to reduce its global workforce by 10 percent, or 1,400 jobs, by 2012 in a move that is expected to save AMD US$200 million.

Singapore is not the only Asia-Pacific market affected by the chipmaker's plans to streamline its operations. According to Taiwanese news site, WantChinaTimes, 24 employees were laid off in Taiwan on Nov. 4.


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