Applied Materials continues to suffer

Troubled US chipmaker Applied Materials is continuing to suffer and said that it will cut its workforce by between six and nine percent to reduce costs.

According to Reuters, the company has been suffering from some major headaches as it faces a slowdown in its chip manufacturing equipment business and troubles at its solar and display groups.

The company is bringing in a voluntary retirement programme and other measures to cull 900 to 1,300 positions. This is on top of a fair few redundancies earlier in the year.

The company has been hit by slow economies, tepid PC shipments and declining sales in its non-core display and solar businesses.

Applied Materials warned in August that its revenue would fall more than expected.

Recently the outfit told Gary Dickerson, recently appointed president of Applied Materials, to review the effectiveness of its investments in its different businesses.

According to former workers who spoke to TechEye, many think that moves to get into non-core businesses like solar power had proved to be a costly mistake.

It is fairly likely that Dickerson could order the company to get out of its non-core markets to focus on developing more competitive chip manufacturing gear.

Applied Materials said that when the cuts are implemented in the third quarter of fiscal 2013, it should save between $140 million and $190 million annually.

Dickerson was previously Chief Executive of Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, which Applied Materials bought in 2011.

The workers who spoke to TechEye were gutted by the move, many of them had not expected to be made redundant at all. Some had moved to different departments in an attempt for more job security, but to no avail.