Intel freezes hiring in PC chip division for at least two weeks

Intel Corp. has frozen hiring for the division responsible for desktop and laptop chips, according to a note reviewed by Reuters, as part of a series of cost-cutting measures.

According to the memo sent Wednesday, Intel is “pausing all hiring and suspending all job applications” in its customer computing pool. The memo stated that some hiring could resume in as little as two weeks after the department reassessed priorities and that all existing job offers would be respected in its systems.

“We believe we are at the beginning of a long-term growth cycle across the semiconductor industry and have the right strategy in place,” Intel said in a statement. “Increased focus and prioritization in our spending will help us navigate macroeconomic uncertainty, implement our strategy and meet our commitments to customers, shareholders and employees.”

Intel shares are down nearly 28% over the past year, and the company has asked investors to prepare for gross margins lower than it has historically achieved, as it spends heavily to catch up with competitors like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd whose manufacturing technology has outpaced Intel’s technology.

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The company’s customer computing group is the largest by sales, generating $9.3 billion of its $18.4 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter.

After Intel’s desktop and laptop chips became dominant, facing increasing competition from Advanced Micro Devices Inc, the division lost Apple Inc as a customer after Apple began using its own specially designed chips.

The memo sent on Wednesday also outlined other cost-cutting measures such as immediately canceling some group travel, limiting participation in industry conferences and instructing group meetings to be held virtually when possible.

The hiring freeze does not appear to affect all of Intel. In a memo sent to all employees on Tuesday, CEO Pat Gelsinger said the company will “slow down” its hiring and have 23,000 newly hired employees over the next 90 days. Intel had 121,000 employees at the end of 2021.

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