'Workforce reduction' begins at Nvidia

— 6:00 AM on September 19, 2008

Nvidia isn't exactly having a good summer. After getting renewed competition from AMD, fessing up to mobile GPU and chipset failures, posting a $121-million loss, and falling prey to a shareholder class-action lawsuit, the graphics firm has now announced plans to shed part of its workforce.

The firings will force roughly 360 current employees to find new jobs, shrinking Nvidia's global head count by 6.5%. Nvidia takes care to mention that it won't just be throwing employees out on the street: along with their pink slips, dismissed staffers will receive "severance packages, counseling, and job placement services." According to CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, the firings should help put the company back on track:

"Our action today is difficult, but necessary considering current business realities. Despite our reduction, we will continue to invest in selective high-growth opportunities like our revolutionary CUDA parallel computing technology and our Tegra mobile single-chip computer," said Jen-Hsun Huang . . . "We are taking fast action to enhance our competitive position and restore our financial performance. All of us at NVIDIA are determined to emerge from these challenges an even stronger company."

This "workforce reduction" should be over by the end of Nvidia's third fiscal quarter, which ends on October 26. The company expects to record $7-10 million in related charges, but it doesn't mention how much money the firings will save.

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