Layoffs Hit EMC, Applied Materials

Storage giant EMC Corp. and semiconductor devices maker Applied Materials Inc. announced job cuts this week as an already difficult economic forecast darkened.

EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass., said Thursday that it is unlikely to break even this quarter and, as part of "sweeping" cost reductions, will cut 2,400 jobs.

President and CEO Joe Tucci said the company would have to generate about $1.8 billion in revenue this quarter to break even, something that is not likely to happen.

"The current economic environment for technology expenditures is worsening globally," Tucci said in a statement. "It is now clear that further weakening of the economy is causing major cutbacks in many of the industries served by EMC. The business world is simply covered in a blanket of hesitation."

The company said it will take a third-quarter charge in an amount that has yet to be determined. Tucci said the cost cutting will include "our work force, real estate, certain inventories and other areas."

The job cuts will reduce EMCs work force from about 23,400 to 21,000 by the end of the year.

Applied Materials, citing a drop in spending by various chip manufacturers, said Wednesday it will cut 2,000 jobs-or about 10 percent of its work force-as part of a series of cost-cutting measures to shore up its business in the face of a worsening economy.

"We implemented a series of aggressive cost-reduction programs [since the beginning of the year] in an effort to avoid reductions in our work force," Chairman and CEO James Morgan said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the length and severity of the downturn and lack of near-term visibility have made it necessary for us to take additional action to align our operations with current levels of business."

About 700 of the job cuts will come from the companys operations in the Silicon Valley and another 500 at its Austin, Texas, facility. The rest will be spread among the companys other worldwide operations. The cuts will occur before the end of the fourth quarter.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company, which makes equipment for chip makers, said it will take a restructuring charge in the fourth quarter, which ends Oct. 28.