Toshiba Doubles Layoffs to Over 14000 Positions

The past few years haven’t been good for Japanese conglomerates and the it appears things are getting even worse at Toshiba. After a massive accounting scandal popped up last year, the Japanese firm ended up losing a massive $4.5 billion USD for the 2015 fiscal year. That led to planned cuts of 7,800 positions worldwide as an effort to cut costs. Things appear to have gotten worse though as Toshiba is now reported to cut over 14,000 positions in this round of layoffs.

At 14,000, this is double the initial estimates for cuts. 7,610 positions or around half are to come from the consumer electronics and PC business segments. Another 4,590 jobs were trimmed from the semiconductor business as well. Finally, 3,449 workers were offered early retirement packages. In total, this is about 7% of Toshiba global workforce of 198,741 people worldwide.

With the PC division set to be sold off eventually, the cuts there probably won’t mean much. The much bigger concern comes from the semiconductor business. Toshiba and partner SanDisk are one of the few NAND manufacturers, along with IMFT, SK Hynix and Samsung. Both companies have faced serve financial trouble and SanDisk recently sold itself to Western Digital. If WD is unable to revive SanDisk and Toshiba continues its downwards trend, we may lose a NAND producer, something no consumer wants.

AMD Announces Restructuring Plan to Cut 5% of Workforce

When the Silver Lake investment talks broke down, AMD spoke of exploring other strategic options. Today, we’re finding out that one of these options being adopted is a new restructuring plan. In an effort to cut costs and realign resources, AMD will be cutting 5% of their global workforce among other cost-saving measures. Other major savings are expected to come from outsourcing IT, consolidating real estate and reorganizing its many divisions.

With a 5% staff cut, it will bring AMD’s workforce down from about 9700 to 9200. This is coming from a firm which once boasted about 20,000 employees. Savings start off small with only $9 million saved for 2015 but it jumps to $58 million by the end of 2016. Of course, this is due to various costs associated with cutting staff, with $31 million coming from severance costs and about $10 million more from various other charges.

While $67 million saved over 2 years is quite a bit, it won’t do much when AMD is expected to post losses in the range of 100’s of millions. With the recent departure of various executives and Jim Keller and the separation of the graphics division into RTG, things are not looking up. Hopefully, the launch of the new 16nm GPU lineup in 2016 will help revitalize the firm.

Thank you StreetInsider for providing us with this information 

Angry Birds Developer Rovio Lays off 110 Employees

It’s no surprise that the company that found luck with the insane success of Angry Birds has started to lay off employees.

Despite being the most downloaded mobile game of all time, Angry Birds is a simple game, with a simple concept, a game that arguably got in early and captured the hearts and minds of bored smartphone users before anyone else. This makes it easy to see how Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company behind the game, hasn’t really been able to match the success of Angry Birds with any other game since.

It’s a problem that faces many mobile games – a game is an overnight success, they rely solely on that game to keep the business going, but once practically everyone owns it, there’s too few people left to buy it.

The layoffs mean the shutting down of the company’s Tampere studio, with their only presence in Finland being at their headquarters in Espoo.

Source: Wired


Disney Shuts Down Lucasarts, Cancelling Star Wars 1313 And First Assault

The staff of LucasArts received a notification that Disney is shutting down the developer. As of now, 150 people are laid off, specifically those were working on an existing projects called Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, therefore most likely cancelling the game. The name “LucasArts” will still be used by Disney as a license for games, but the heart of the company, the game studio, will shut down.

In a Statement, LucasFilm, parent company of LucasArts said “After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”

Disney bought LucasFilm during October 2012, where they even acquired LucasArts and Star Wars franchise in the process. Back then, Star Wars 1313 was announced, but it seems that the game will not be completed.

There is a possibility that “Star Wars” games will be made by other game developers. In the past, the title’s licenses were sold to other game developers and had a taste of good success, such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: Battlefront which were made by BioWare and Pandemic Studios. But LucasArts did try to make a game “The Force Unleashed”, but the sequel didn’t excite like how BioWare and Pandemic Studios’ games did.

LucasArts is also responsible for many well known game titles, such as Indiana Jones game franchise and Monkey Island adventure games.

Source: Kotaku