National Semiconductor is laying off 500 employees, mostly in its semiconductor division, the company said Friday. It is the first reduction in the company's work force since last November, and company officials said it was part of a continuing restructuring.
The Santa Clara, Calif., maker of electronic components and computer systems said the layoffs will be made at all levels of the company but will largely affect its Silicon Valley employees. Before the layoffs, the company had 30,000 employees worldwide, including 8,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The company has been realigning its semiconductor division away from commodity-type chips and into the high-performance, application-specific devices that also carry higher profit margins. "As our markets change, we're rebuilding our organization to serve the markets," said spokesman Gray Allen. "That requires fewer people, or sometimes different people."
National Semi had two rounds of layoffs in 1985; in June of that year it cut 1,300 jobs, and in November an additional 500 positions were eliminated as the company responded to the deepening recession in the industry.