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Chop, chop, chop

According to the brief during Seagate's recent shareholder's meeting, much was discussed about Seagate's recent acquisition of its largest competitor, Maxtor. Seagate said that it plans to lay off more than 50% of existing Maxtor employees. While the company intends to keep the Maxtor brand name as well as some Maxtor services, it indicated that most of Maxtor's North American employees would be let go.

Seagate said that in terms of hardware, it plans to keep Maxtor's production of 3.5-inch, 10,000 RPM Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives and 500GB SATA hard drives -- the rest will be let go along with Maxtor's employees. Seagate also indicated that it will still support Maxtor's existing channel partners but did not indicate how long that would last.

Over in Asia, where Maxtor also has a strong presence, Seagate said it will retain 90% of Maxtor's Asia employees, specifically over in Malaysia and Singapore. Previously, Maxtor itself already cut roughly 900 jobs from its workforce in preparation for Seagate's takeover. Seagate is also expanding its presence in Singapore, with a new R&D center expected to house more than 2000 employees.

Seagate expects to layoff between 12,500 and 13,500 Maxtor employees.

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By gamephile on 5/31/2006 5:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
That's a lot of jobs. Now that it's essentially Seagate and Western Digital does anyone see this impacting competition and thus price? Or is that not really a factor?

RE: Wow.
By xdrol on 5/31/2006 6:56:33 PM , Rating: 2
There is Samsung, too.

RE: Wow.
By Xavian on 5/31/2006 7:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
Hitachi Too.

RE: Wow.
By Scrogneugneu on 5/31/06, Rating: 0
RE: Wow.
By paperfist on 6/1/2006 12:29:56 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung & Hitachi are not exacly nobodies..

RE: Wow.
By chazzzer on 6/2/2006 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
Hitachi and Western Digital are virtually tied for second place in the hard drive market. There's a lot of speculation that Hitachi will buy Western Digital soon, meaning that Seagate will own 41% of the market and Hitachi will be at about 30%. Of course, Hitachi has deep pockets due to their other product lines...Western Digital had revenues of $4 billion last year, while Hitachi's were $43 billion. If Hitachi wants to be the undisputed #2 player, they can certainly afford to get there.

RE: Wow.
By Missing Ghost on 6/1/2006 8:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
and toshiba

RE: Wow.
By Shining Arcanine on 5/31/2006 7:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
Not as far as US manufacturers go.

RE: Wow look at the carnage...
By Fnoob on 5/31/2006 9:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
I have killed many, many PC components. The most fun involved large caliber full auto firearms... the least fun have always been hard drives- and always at the worst possible times.

Based upon the above stories I would have to conclude that perhaps I am killing them, rather than them just dying on their own.. .But I digress; I've apparently killed several large (full height) Seagate SCSI's , two Seagate 15K SCSI, multiple WD 20, 40, 80, 100G IDE, multiple Maxtor 20, 40, 100, 160, 320 IDE - and thats just in my home computers over the last 10 years. Damn, at work I have seen a retarded number of Fujitsu 10G IDE drives fail. The Seagate 20's have been far and away more reliable.

Long ramble short - hard drives suck. Please, could someone more smarter pleasse invent something just a weeee bit more reliable / or at least, easily RECOVERABLE. PLease? It's gotten me so paranoid that I keep everything important backed up to 3 different arrays...

I'm thinking the smart $$ is on flash memory tech. When access times and capacity get competitive watch out. The death of all hard drives is near(ish).

PS - I personally am shocked and/or amazed that no one has expressed any outrage that apparently ALL the "North American" employees are being laid off, as opposed to 90% of their Asian counterparts being kept on. NO comment on that?

RE: Wow look at the carnage...
By ZeeStorm on 6/1/06, Rating: 0
RE: Wow look at the carnage...
By Pauli on 6/1/2006 10:05:11 AM , Rating: 2
You probably build your own machines and overclock them without providing adequate cooling. I've been building my own PCs for 20 years now and have never had a hard drive outright fail on me (except for one that I dropped).

RE: Wow look at the carnage...
By Fnoob on 6/1/2006 6:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
I do build 'em and I do cool 'em. Lian Li PC70 has two case fans right in front of the removable 6 HDD bay... Not really sure why I have had so many fail, but I suspect it could possibly be dirty power (From California blackouts to Florida hurricane central). I cannot believe that in 20 years you have not had a HDD failure. Your systems must see minimal use...? Mine typically run 24/7 so that could be part of it.

RE: Wow look at the carnage...
By timmiser on 6/3/2006 12:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
You've been building pc's for 20 years and never had a hard drive fail?? Yeah sure, and I've got a VESA Local Bus controller card I'll sell you for $100 for your Athlon64 X2 rig!

RE: Wow.
By Samus on 6/1/2006 4:05:31 AM , Rating: 1
so...whey the fuck did they buy them if they're slashing their workforce in half and discontinuing nearly all of their products?

RE: Wow.
By MercuryFree on 6/1/2006 5:23:48 AM , Rating: 2
Because then they have one less major competitor to go up against them, meaning the sales of seagate drives increase.

RE: Wow.
By OrSin on 6/1/2006 12:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
They bought them for the Asian market. They have been tryinf ro years to get in asia with no luck. Maxton get them a huge market and killing thier number one competor here is just a bonus. I have had about 20 hards in my days and only 2 have died and they were 80mb and a 3GB and both of them lasted me over 5 years. Drive are pretty relaible when not run 24/7 or overheated.

RE: Wow.
By chazzzer on 6/2/2006 3:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
They bought Maxtor primarily for their production facilities in Asia. Also, Maxtor had some major customers that make digital video recorders, and Seagate expects that they will retain that volume business. Computers are no longer the driving force in the hard drive market, it's the integration of hard drives into other consumer electronics devices.

I shed no tears
By segagenesis on 5/31/2006 5:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
With at least 90% of hard drive warranty work at my job being related to Quantum, then Maxtor drives they cant disappear fast enough. Like IBM selling the smelly blanket of its hard drive division to Hitachi perhaps they can make better on quality with Seagate behind Maxtor.

With piles upon piles of dead Maxtor, Fujitsu, IBM Deskstar drives I can see why newer computers we have reieved are either Seagate or Samsung.

RE: I shed no tears
By TheDoc9 on 5/31/2006 5:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I guess you have some room to talk but I've never had a problem with their drives. In fact, I've only used maxtors for the past 11 years, spanning 5 computers, and only now is one of the older ones(that has been transported between 3 computers over the past 5 years) started acting up.

Maybe I just know how to build computers? Maybe maxtor used to make sorry drives in the early 90's and never lost it's rep with the hardcore?

Of course for all we know, Seagate doesn't use your warranty company. For all we know, there are piles of dead seagates and Samsungs in someones office somewhere.

RE: I shed no tears
By aGreenAgent on 5/31/2006 6:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Maxtor is known to have a higher percentage of faulty drives than any other company.

I've owned 3 maxtors - the first (the oldest) I've had for 13 years and it's still going strong.

The second two are more recent, and they're dead after 6 weeks. It's actually one drive, but I've RMA'd it twice. Hopefully the third one they send me will work correctly.

And it's actually the other way around. They used to make good drives, but the past 8 years or so they've been getting worse and worse.

RE: I shed no tears
By Kakumba on 5/31/2006 6:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
Never had a problem with Maxtor, but then, I have never had a problem with ANY hardware (what can I say, I'm blessed, hardware never dies on me).

That said, the Maxtor in a REALLY old computer (like, at least 4 years old) is starting to die I think. its making the kind of noises I would expect from a dying HDD.

RE: I shed no tears
By Slaimus on 5/31/2006 6:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
None of my many Maxtors have actually died either, but some have developed bad or slow sectors, and were replaced. This is all anecdotal though.

Most HDs are damaged during shipping. That is why the vast majority of people claiming bad HDs gets them DOA or using them for less than a week. HDs that die between that time and a year are usually because of bad QC or design flaws, and those are usually fairly well publicized (like 75GXP, 7200.8).

RE: I shed no tears
By Korvon on 5/31/2006 6:51:31 PM , Rating: 2
I have worked in Tech shops for almost 10 years and have used all types of drives. When doing warranty replacements I usually had 2x as many maxtors to replace than any other. Seagate is better but still have a few to RMA every month.

RE: I shed no tears
By vanka on 6/1/2006 3:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
I manage a several computer labs and we ordered most of our computers from a local place. One lab had been set up for about a year and a half when I was hired on while another I set up myself (using the PCs we purchased from them). Both batches of computers had Maxtors installed. Since I have been there (about a year) I have had 8 hard drives die on me, most from the older lab but one died in the new lab less than a week after we bought it.

The Maxtors fail so much that almost everyone in their repair shop knows me. Last couple of times I was there the head repair guy said they were switching to Western Digital. Seems that the Maxtors that they were sticking into the DVRs they sell we having a failure rate of 80%. When they switched to WD, the failure rate drpped to 20%. So they now install only WD.

RE: I shed no tears
By Ticholo on 5/31/2006 7:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
The only HD that I have ever had that died was a Maxtor.
And the only other Maxtor I've had since is in the process of dying.
It started acting up and I now have it on a USB enclosure. As long I don't use so often maybe it will give me a few more months of use.
Bottom line, no more Maxtors for me. And by the looks of this, soon it'll be no more Maxtors for anybody!

PS: I'm pretty impressed with my 2 Samsung drives. Reliable so far and quiet.

RE: I shed no tears
By GreenEnvt on 6/1/2006 8:30:01 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using maxtor drives almost exclusively the last 5-6 years, and I have not had a single one fail under 3 years old. I've had 1 start developing bad sectors, but it was about 5 years old. This is out of about 20-25 drives (I build and sell computers on the side to friends/family).

The drives I had most problems with was the old quantum drives, like the bigfoot line.

RE: I shed no tears
By wallijonn on 6/1/2006 10:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
I find that the 40GB "Slim drive" drives are very prone to failure. But that may also be because of so little cooling reaching them in my OEM computers. I haave also seen some cases mount them vertically just behind the front hole where a fan should be.

As far as Seagates go, I swear my last Seagate was a re-badged Maxtor - it just had too much actuator noise (80GB SATA). I'll use it for temp files mostly and will not install programs on it. My data gets burned once a week onto CDRWs and DVDRs (6 CDRWs = 1 DVDR).

I feel for the 12,500 employees let go. (It took me over 3 years to find a comparable job as the last one I had with DEC). Finding another job for 1/2 the pay is not easy.

I just wish Seagate had kept the MaxLine line going, though. It would have been easy enough to shift it for workstation useage.

By Maximilian on 5/31/2006 6:06:05 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Why?
By Clauzii on 5/31/2006 6:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
Because in the end both companies are owned by the same big Mogul, that only want's to rule the world. Not careing about a "bunch" of workers, that are more expensive in the long run compared to robots.

Matrix, my friend, Matrix.....

RE: Why?
By TheDoc9 on 5/31/2006 6:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
were trapped!

RE: Why?
By brystmar on 5/31/2006 6:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ignorance sure is bliss, isn't it Clauzii?

RE: Why?
By Clauzii on 5/31/2006 8:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that it was a hypothtical thought, and that Maxtor has served me well lately - no :)

Thats what Takeovers really mean
By crystal clear on 6/1/2006 3:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
This was expected,nothing new ,its done over & over again evertime there is a takeover.
Behind all that P.R. Talk & management blah blah, the stark realities are simple-Fire all those staff,sell off all their fixed assets,transfer their liquid assets to the parent company Account.
All the hard work/effort put in by the people at Maxtor ,to make it something in the hard disk business is just thrown in the garbage can.The taking over company are tomb raiders,that come to strip everything out and go away.
I talk from experience-it hurts but thats what has to be done & somebody has got to do it-not pleasant indeed

RE: Thats what Takeovers really mean
By Master Kenobi on 6/1/2006 10:31:46 AM , Rating: 2
There are more jobs in the world, than there are people to fill them. Every company I have ever worked for, we can't hire people fast enough. I guess it just depends on if you have any useful skills in the industry.

RE: Thats what Takeovers really mean
By wileec on 6/1/2006 2:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
Tech jobs? I mean really technical jobs? NO! There are NOT enough of these to go around in America. I've been working contracts for four years , because there are no tech jobs! There are SALES and CALL CENTER jobs available, which all companies classify as "technical". These are not what I call high-tech jobs.

Many large firms have moved most of their tech jobs overseas to Asia/India. Just go look at their job postings online. Look at Dell, etc... . They have gotten rid of many of their technicians and keep using contractors. While they hire people in India to replace the American workers.

By Clauzii on 6/1/2006 4:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yep - most western companys use eastern placed support centers. Most of the products we use in computers are also produced there. A shame politics and economics have such a big influence in normal peoples life. On the other hand, the big coorperations also need to expand if they wan't growth in the buisness - and that is where the things start to grow wrong. If all companys want growth allways, something is going to happen, since the growth curve ain't infinite in lenght..

By crystal clear on 6/1/2006 11:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
M kenobi-Yes there are plenty of jobs for Indians/Chineses-dirt cheap salaries.
You really dont know the realities of LIFE-Iam talking software/hardware Engineers-I am sure they have as you say
"Any Useful Skills in the industry"

Hey, I worked there
By PandaBear on 5/31/2006 8:34:10 PM , Rating: 5
Since the very beginning Seagate already stated that they are only buying Maxtor for the manufacturing plant in China, MMC (Maxtor Media, the platter manufacture) and our customer. They already have everything that they build in house and wouldn't need us. We were told that in Milpitas there would be a small team kept to support our "next gen" product that just finished and wasn't built yet. The volume drop from initial 15Million to 7.5Million then to 1Million, just to get rid of the parts we already bought. At the end, the small team that they were going to keep is cancelled. Rumor is that the team was too "senior" and making too much money, but I think Seagate was just lying to their teeth since the beginning so the company didn't fall apart before the merger.

The OEM customers are moving away from Seagate because they want 2nd and 3rd source. WD, Samsung, and Hitachi are celerbrating like there is no tomorrow. Seagate already got Maxtor for free with the rising stock price, and the only one losing out is the employees who got laid off and the customers.

Are Maxtor drives significantly worse than other brand? No body knows, because the "significantly" are usually only 0.05% more than competitor. What really hurt Maxtor is the immature management and rivaly between each sites to keep their own aged design and products. Seagate closed down all but a couple sites a few years ago to get rid of politics, so it is smart for them not to get into the political battle again by absorbing Maxtor and pay the ridiculus California salary (most of their engineers are in Colorado).

Except I am one of the one who didn't survive.

RE: Hey, I worked there
By berat556 on 6/1/2006 1:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry to hear you lost your job as for the souless corporations, I say to hell with them. Hopefully something better comes along.

RE: Hey, I worked there
By PandaBear on 6/1/2006 12:48:20 PM , Rating: 1
It's ok, I found a better job and bailed. One of my former manager pull me into another company with a raise. Maxtor and Seagate are not bad company, but when the industry is flooded with drive manufactures with low margin, the better way for them to make money is to play musical chair to get rid of one of them. Seagate is big enought that they can get rid of Maxtor for free (via rising stock price) and remove the threat to their high end SCSI drives. Now only Seagate and Hitachi are available for the very high end, with some from Fujitsu.

The problem I have with merger like this, is that you stay or leave not because of how good you are or how hard you work, but whether you are lucky and in the right department or team. They get rid of some really amazing engineers. But of course, the really good ones already left when they first heard the news.

Former Maxtor Employees may team up
By despinoza on 6/2/2006 5:56:43 AM , Rating: 2
I think it would be nonsense to suggest that the employees of maxtor will have a difficulty to finding a job. The issue is that staffers may get together and, buy a factory, where they could initially compete for outsourcing contracts (like the Chinese do), and then as the money comes in, build up a own brand and research). there would be a pool from layed off IT workers to draw from as SUN sacks people as well etc.

The only problem, such a company would need to have a tough management and it needs to manufacture in a very cost efficient way.

RE: Former Maxtor Employees may team up
By PandaBear on 6/2/2006 1:42:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I can assure you my former co-worker (from Maxtor) will not be doing what you suggested.

The hard drive industry is moving out of the bay area and out of the US, into Korea, Japan, Singapore, and China. Engineering in China is still not yet ready but all the other places are. People who have families here cannot relocate, but those who will can find a job in Colorado (Seagate) or Lake Forest (WD).

People can find jobs, just not as good of a pay as before. Some engineers have been doing nothing but hard drives and they are too senior to switch field or have to get 50% paycut and start all over at 55 years old. Such is life, not fair but happens. For young people I do not recommend joining the HD field, it is shrinking and very "connection" oriented. I have seen many of my co-workers got hired because they know someone but can't write code.

Wireless and medical instrument field is much better.

By despinoza on 6/2/2006 4:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
Mind you that I am not based in the US nor in Japan, China, Singapure, the Philipines, Malaysia, or Korea. Nor have I ever worked for Maxtor. But I think you have got all the engineers, and now it would be to be innovative and reinvent ...

O.K. it's hypothetical, but I did not necessarily mean that a company should be abouot manufacturing hard drives, but it can be anything within the range of expertise of the former employees of Maxtor. Look now developers have to get into multithreading and concurrent programming, because the chip industry has decided to go multicore. I have no other chance but to adjust, even though I am not the youngest either.

I think the real estate in California is extremely overprized, so why not relocate? Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada? Even New York state seeks to catch up with California. In Rochchester there is a well educated well trained work force. But as said, politics is a key factor. A company which has not a firm forcused structure will fail. And I wonder as to why such behemoth such IBM did not go down the drains?

But this gets me to the point: new computers based on the CELL and its likes. You need to have a sound and stable Operating System which can rum on them. Check oout how ATARI and COMMODORE have gained the market and lost it: they simply have not been able to make the switch to PC.

Now it would be small computers such as the MacMini, or Xbox, but certainly not larger then them packed with supercomputer power. Who wants to have such a plastic tin box , too large for everything, sitting under their table. Noep devices have to be small like a iPod. And for users, they want to have high end graphics, a modest price, be able to watch tele on these boxes, send email, do phone calls, surf the internet. listen to hifi grade music.

So if you get such a CELL beased device packed with powerful electronics, and a stable and fast operating system, you will be a winner.

Never thought of it?

Success-Fail Ratio
By Razor Crusade on 5/31/2006 7:46:45 PM , Rating: 3
Looks like Seagate is making an example of the Maxtor employees by re-enacting the success-fail ratio of the drives with their very lives.

RE: Success-Fail Ratio
By Garreye on 6/1/2006 2:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
hahahah good call

Economy is important
By Shenkoa on 6/1/2006 2:41:59 AM , Rating: 1
Oh so many people will have no jobs, people with family's and bills to take care of. But who cares, cooporate welfair is much more important.

F!@# that!

RE: Economy is important
By MrCoyote on 6/1/2006 2:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
"North American" jobs will be lost. WTF? Why not get rid of the Asian people jobs? Why is it always us Americans that are cut back on jobs? How the hell they think we can buy stuff, if we don't have jobs? If we have no jobs, we can't buy the product, even if it was reduced in price a lot!

If Seagate is going to cut that many North American jobs, then I'm no longer going to support Seagate. I'll buy from a different manufacturer, even if it means higher prices.

Fuck all these corporations pulling out of America! WE NEED JOBS TOO!!!

RE: Economy is important
By chazzzer on 6/2/2006 6:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
The asians kept their jobs because they work in the factories that make the hard drives. The Americans lost their jobs, because Seagate already employs a lot of Americans that do the exact same jobs. And Seagate pays their employees a lot less, because they don't work in the Silicon Valley where wages and cost of living are out of control.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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