Intel Corp. is planning a major reduction in headcount, likely numbering in the thousands, to cut costs and cope with a sputtering personal-computer market, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
The layoffs will be announced as early as this month, with the company planning to make the move around the same time as its third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 27, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The chipmaker had 113,700 employees as of July.
Some divisions, including Intel's sales and marketing group, could see cuts affecting about 20% of staff, according to the people.
Intel is facing a steep decline in demand for PC processors, its main business, and has struggled to win back market share lost to rivals like Advanced Micro Devices Inc. In July, the company warned that 2022 sales would be about $11 billion lower than it previously expected. Analysts are predicting a third-quarter revenue drop of roughly 15%. And Intel's once-enviable margins have shriveled: They're about 15 percentage points narrower than historical numbers of around 60%.
During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel acknowledged that it could make changes to improve profits. "We are also lowering core expenses in calendar year 2022 and will look to take additional actions in the second half of the year," Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger said at the time.
Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, declined to comment on the layoffs.
Intel's last big wave of layoffs occurred in 2016, when it trimmed about 12,000 jobs, or 11% of its total. The company has made smaller cuts since then and shuttered several divisions, including its cellular modem and drone units. Like many companies in the technology industry, Intel also froze hiring earlier this year, when market conditions soured and fears of a recession grew.
The latest cutbacks are likely meant to reduce Intel's fixed costs, possibly by about 10% to 15%, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh said in a research note. He estimates that those costs range from at least $25 billion to $30 billion.
Gelsinger took the helm at Intel last year and has been working to restore the company's reputation as a Silicon Valley legend. But even before the PC slump, it was an uphill fight. Intel lost its long-held technological edge, and its own executives acknowledge that the company's culture of innovation withered in recent years.
Now a broader slowdown is adding to those challenges. Intel's PC, data center and artificial intelligence groups are contending with a tech spending downturn, weighing on revenue and profit.
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