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The chipmaker, with 22,000 employees in Hillsboro alone, is expected to lay off thousands in the wake of poor revenues.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon's U.S. Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, spoke alongside Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai this spring while drumming up support for the CHIPS Act. Now, Intel is expected to announce steep job layoffs after poor quarterly earnings this year. Anxiety is swirling among Intel employees over the expected layoffs that everyone knows are coming.

Right now, the staff is in wait-and-see mode and management is putting together plans for what Intel is calling "people actions," according to a source familiar with the company's process.

"From the top down, there's not a lot of news, but bottom-up, there's a lot of anxiety," said an Intel employee who requested anonymity to speak to Pamplin Media Group. "What it seems like they've been doing is determining how much money needs to be trimmed in each division … then each division head decides how to get there."

Intel is expected to make steep job cuts this year, in the wake of poor quarterly performances and a general downturn in the personal computer market.

In a Bloomberg report on Tuesday, Oct. 11, an anonymous source said the tech giant is reeling from those low quarterly earnings. Intel's stock prices have plummeted in 2022 by more than 50%.

Intel currently employs around 113,000 people, according to July figures. About 22,000 of those are in based at Intel's four Oregon campuses, all in or near Hillsboro.

Pamplin Media's source at Intel says it's unknown how many positions could be cut locally, even though Intel has recently invested billions in expanding its manufacturing and research factories in Hillsboro.

The Intel employee said that, while external hiring is not yet frozen, internal transfers are.

"The company wants to still be seen as hiring," the source said. "It could very well be political optics."

Intel was a major proponent of the recently approved CHIPS Act, a $52 billion spending package aimed at bolstering U.S. semiconductor manufacturing. For companies to access the tax incentives and investments as part of that bill, they must meet certain requirements for workforce investment and chip production.

As with previous rounds of layoffs, however, this one is being kickstarted through an initial voluntary severance process. Employees can choose to walk from their contracts, rather than risk being laid off.

However, the source says Intel seems to "have learned from past mistakes" on that front. During the last round of layoffs a few years ago, voluntary terminations received a larger severance package than those who were laid off. Now, management says employees will receive the standard severance either way.

The idea is to see how many job cuts are needed among every division after the voluntary severances, the source said.

"There's a lot of anxiety at the company," the Intel employee said. "A lot of people don't know what's coming and there is a lot of vague pessimism."

The Intel employee says this has impacted morale and employees' ability to work effectively.

"People are less effective when they're anxious," said the employee. "… They need to just make moves on this, because the more they dawdle the worse it's going to be."

"Seeing the CEO take a $160 million signing bonus and then turn around the next year saying we need to announce layoffs?" the source added. "There's resentment."

Intel chief executive Pat Gelsinger took over the company in February 2021. That year, he received a compensation package that included more than $178 million in financial compensation — $1 million in salary, $1.75 million in bonuses and the rest comprising stock awards and options. COURTESY: INTEL CORP - Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger.

The actual payouts of much of that money depend on Intel's stock performance.

However, earlier this year, shareholders took an advisory vote in which a majority rejected the companies proposals for executive pay. CNBC reported in May that this could "send a signal that some Intel investors are closely watching the performance of CEO Pat Gelsinger and the progress of his turnaround of the chip giant."

Intel declined an interview request from Pamplin Media to discuss its personnel decisions.


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