Applied Materials Cuts 1,700 Jobs

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2001-12-12

Applied Materials Inc., which in September cut about 2,000 jobs, on Wednesday announced it would slash another 1,700 positions, or about 10 percent of its workforce.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company--which makes equipment for chip makers--cited the continued downturn in the semiconductor industry as the reason for the job cuts.

"Unfortunately, the continuing downturn requires us to make some tough decisions to align our operations with current levels of demand for semiconductor equipment," Chairman and CEO James Morgan said in a statement released on Wednesday. "While the short-term business environment is uncertain, we are confident in the long-term prospects of our company."

Like others in the industry, Applied Materials has struggled, posting a loss of $82 million in the most recent quarter.

The company will take a restructuring charge for the first quarter, which ends Jan. 27, 2002.

Employees will be notified of the layoffs starting Thursday, the company said. About 450 positions will come from Applied Materials Silicon Valley operations, and another 600 or so from its facilities in Austin, Texas. Those workers will have the option of participating in a furlough program, in which they will take an unpaid leave of absence and be eligible for some benefits.

Two months ago, about 700 workers in Silicon Valley and another 500 in Texas--as well as others from Applied Materials global operations--lost their jobs.

The job cuts are part of other cost-reduction measures Applied Materials has taken, which include salary reductions, mandatory shutdown days and restricted travel.

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