Xilinx seeking 130 redundancies in Dublin


OVER A quarter of the 400 staff at Xilinx’s European headquarters in Dublin are to be made redundant over the next nine months.

The semiconductor maker briefed staff yesterday on its plans to seek 130 redundancies. The bulk of the cuts will come from manufacturing, assembly and testing functions but support and administrative jobs will also be lost.

The jobs will move to Xilinx’s facility in Singapore, although some will be outsourced to third parties.

“The development is part of a global reorganisation to ensure ongoing competitiveness in line with current economic conditions that have forced many companies to take similar measures,” the company said in a statement.

Staff in Dublin, which is Xilinx’s headquarters for operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea), were told that 6 per cent of the company’s 3,400 staff worldwide would lose their jobs as part of the cost-cutting.

Xilinx is also introducing pay-cuts for management. The company, which produces chips that are integrated into a wide variety of electronic devices, last month upgraded its sales guidance for the current quarter. As a result of improved sales in the wireless sector it expects sales to be down 13-18 per cent on the third quarter, which ended on December 27th last, rather than the 15-25 per cent drop it originally forecast.

In January Xilinx reported revenues of $458.4 million and net income of $139.4 million for the third quarter.

It is understood that Xilinx will offer a relatively generous package to departing staff. They will receive six weeks pay per year of service in addition to the two weeks pay required under statutory redundancy. Payments will be capped at a maximum of 52 weeks.

Manufacturing and testing were two of the initial functions carried out in Dublin when Xilinx opened a facility in the Citywest business park in 1995. Since then it has invested over €125 million in its Irish operations, which have added new functions over the years.

In 2005, it added a €7.5 million research facility, the first Xilinx Research Labs outside the US. Just over 12 months ago it located the headquarters of a new global division at Citywest, Xilinx Customer Engineering, which it said would create 25 new roles.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Xilinx said the company would still have “substantial operations in Ireland” with a focus on research and development, engineering, IT and marketing.

Labour Party TD Pat Rabbitte described the news as “further gloom” for the tech sector coming on the back of recent redundancies at Dell, Boston Scientific, Bourn Electronics, Motorola and Honeywell.

“Jobs like those in Xilinx were precisely the kind of jobs that we targeted in recent years in our bid to attract high-tech companies to our shores,” Mr Rabbitte said.

“The fact that some of the jobs being lost are to be moved to the company’s operations in Singapore is further evidence of how Ireland’s sliding competitiveness is draining the life blood from our labour force,” said local Fine Gael Senator Frances Fitzgerald.