Qualcomm to Cut Over 1,200 Jobs in California 

One of the world’s largest microchip manufacturers is scaling back its workforce due to market slowdown.

Tech giant Qualcomm has this week revealed plans to lay off 1,258 roles — around 2.5% of its workforce — in the San Diego and Santa Clara offices. 

According to a filing with the California Employment Development Department, multiple roles, including engineers and those within HR and legal, will be at risk of the scale-back starting on December 13th.

The news follows Google’s recent round of tech layoffs and comes a month after the microchip manufacturer announced a deal to supply Apple with 5G chips until 2026.

Layoffs Include Engineers and VPs

In the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notices submitted to the California Employment Development Department (CEDD), Qualcomm expressed it was to cut 194 jobs in the Bay Area and 1,064 in San Diego.

CEDD mandates that companies give employees 60 days’ notice before they are let go, and Qualcomm’s were filed this Wednesday.

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The layoffs listed include over 150 engineering roles, as well as business analysts, product managers, and high-ranking executives. Eight vice president roles based in San Diego were also included.

A Drop in Microchip Demands is Behind the Cuts

This round of job cuts will be the second major one for the chip manufacturer this year, as back in June the company laid off around 500 workers. It’s said that shrinking revenues are behind the layoffs, and that despite Qualcomm making billions of dollars per year from the design and sale of smartphone chips, a drop in demand has hit profits.

In August, the company seemed to hint more job cuts were to come with filings that stated:

“Given the continued uncertainty in the macroeconomic and demand environment [the company was expected to take] restructuring actions to enable continued investments.”

These actions were presumed to mainly consist of workforce reductions.  The job cuts come at a particularly somber time in the Bay Area, as both tech giants and well-funded startups are making significant layoffs or closing down.

Layoffs Part of a Proactive Cost-Saving Plan

Despite being the supplier for the newly announced Meta Quest 3 and signing a deal with Apple to keep the company in chips until at least 2026, the layoffs seem to be part of a proactive plan to cut company costs.

Chief Financial Officer Akash Palkhiwala had shared with analysts that action needed to take place to mitigate shrinking revenue:

“Given our commitment to operating discipline, we will proactively implement additional cost actions. Until we see sustained signs of improving fundamentals, our operating framework does not assume an immediate recovery.”

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Written by:
Ellis Di Cataldo (MA) has over 9 years experience writing about, and for, some of the world’s biggest tech companies. She's been the lead writer across digital campaigns, always-on content and worldwide product launches, for global brands including Sony, Electrolux, Byrd, The Open University and Barclaycard. Her particular areas of interest are business trends, startup stories and product news.
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