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Mandatory pay cuts for everyone else in North America

Embattled AMD will cut 1,100 people and impose mandatory pay cuts on all North American employees. The figure is approximately 9 percent of its global workforce. The good news is that some of the layoffs will come through attrition, so not everyone will be seeing pink slips.

The cuts start from the top, as Executive Chairman and former President Hector Ruiz will see a 20 percent cut in his salary. Many analysts and investors blame Ruiz as the cause of the downfall of AMD, which for a time held a sales and technology lead over Intel in several key sectors. After his seventh consecutive quarterly loss, he was replaced as CEO by Dirk Meyer, who will also see a 20 percent pay cut.

Senior North American executives that are vice presidents or higher will see a 15 percent pay cut. Salaried workers will see a 10 percent cut, while hourly workers will face a 5 percent wage reduction. AMD will also halt its 401(k) matching program.

Last month, AMD took a $70 million charge after laying off 600 workers.

Longtime veterans of AMD have been longing for the good old days of Jerry Sanders, who led AMD for over 30 years. Despite going through several difficult recessions, he often refused to lay off employees, having seen the effects of layoffs that had occurred at Fairchild Semiconductor. Instead of cutting employees, he instituted efficiency programs, such as working on Saturdays and longer shifts.

AMD will also take an additional $622 million write-off on its purchase of ATI, after a $800 million impairment charge last year. AMD paid $5.4 billion to takeover ATI, which it sees as critical in its plans for Fusion products to compete against arch nemesis Intel.

Many layoffs have been announced in the last month, including Logitech, Seagate, and mighty giant AT&T. Earlier today, Circuit City announced that all 30,000 employees will lose their jobs.

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By Reclaimer77 on 1/17/2009 10:04:24 AM , Rating: -1
In the end, the individual workers weren't the one that allowed the company to slip into a weakened position , but they are the first to feel the effects. That is backwards, and it is a practice that does nothing to promote action by the executives...

When you wake up one morning and find yourself running a large company, let us know.

Also often the employees ARE the ones partly responsible. Can you honestly say Comp USA and Circuit City going under had NOTHING to do with customer service and employee knowledge ?

It's not fair, it's not pretty or nice, but losing employees is by far the most effective means of lowering operating expenses. This is nothing new and I don't know why you want to question it.

When I hear about a company about to lay off 3,000 workers, while the executive compensation doesn't change, I get pissed.

Anyone can be an employee. Anyone cannot just be an executive.

Consider executives like an NFL head football coach. If your team decides, for whatever reason, that you are going to pay your football coaches SIGNIFICANTLY less than everyone else.. then what kind of coach are you going to be able to hire ? Who would want to work for you ?

I'm getting so goddamn sick and tired of every layman and poor s.o.b bitching and belly aching about executives lately. It's getting comical. " OMG they flew private jets to congress !! " Or " their company lost money but their executive got a bonus !! "

This image jealous people have of executives that do nothing and just collect bonuses and high pay is a crock.

By Etsp on 1/17/2009 12:56:49 PM , Rating: 5
If an individual employee is not up to task as far as his job is concerned, then he should be replaced. Does that employee make that decision? No. It's management that makes that decision. Who decides what the management is supposed to do, and what policies they are supposed to enforce? The executives.

Yes, having bad low level employees sucks. But that's still the fault of the executives for not implementing a proper policy to deal with them, or not ensuring it's being enforced by the management they hired. Being at a high level job like that, with great benefits, means they should be also facing the risks in the market.

So, Comp USA and Circuit city going under was still the fault of the executives. Employee training and hiring policy are still decided by them. Poor customer service IS their fault.

I never said that lay-offs were inherently bad or evil, I simply said that if executives feel the need to reduce their work force, they should also feel the impact personally.

By FITCamaro on 1/17/2009 2:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
While an employee certainly should feel personally responsible for knowing how to do his job and knowing about the products they're selling, to me in the end it does come down to management. Good management shouldn't hire (or retain) employees who now only don't know what they're selling but also do not take at least a little pride in their jobs.

By FITCamaro on 1/17/2009 2:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
Let me also add that while obviously employee turnover should be kept under control, at least when I was working there, there was no shortage of people who wanted to. Teenagers loved working at Best Buy to get the discount on stuff.

By HrilL on 1/17/2009 1:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
You really don't know how things work. First off who does the hiring? The Management. Who hires the managers? The executives.

In the case of CompUSA and Circuit City you say the employees are partly responsible. While that may be true. It is the Managers and Executives jobs to hire these employees so the fault lies solely with them for not hiring good employees.

Circuit City started a downward spiral once they ended commission based sales for electronics and appliances. They lost there good and knowledgeable employees and replaced them with people that don't know anything at all. Sales staff at these kind of stores is the most important part of them since the only way the stores make money is by selling products.

You are so quick to defend these executives for their wasteful spending. We'll use the same example you said. The Auto executives flying to Washington. 3 different jets each costing about $30,000 or more to fly there. That could have payed 2 employees for a year.

What people are sick of is these guys making millions for grinding a company into the ground while the employees end up waiting in bread lines.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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