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Micron cutting 15 percent of workers

Fri., Oct. 10, 2008

Boise firm cites drop in memory chip prices

BOISE, Idaho – Micron Technology Inc. will close a factory and cut about 15 percent of its work force around the world as part of a restructuring of its computer memory chip operations.

Of the 2,850 jobs being cut, about 1,500 will be in Boise, where the semiconductor company is headquartered.

The company said Thursday the cuts were a result of declining customer demand and product oversupply, which has driven the selling price for flash memory below manufacturing costs. Micron will shut down its plant in Boise that makes so-called NAND flash memory.

The job cuts will take place over the next two years. The restructuring is expected to cost about $60 million.

“While this isn’t good news for us or our employees or anyone in the community, we’re doing what we have to do to remain competitive and protect the employees that are still here,” said Mark Durcan, Micron’s president and chief operating officer.

“The memory market is a disaster worldwide,” he added.

The company has lost nearly $2 billion since last year, and more than 1,000 people have already been laid off from Micron in the last few years.

The cuts announced Thursday contrast with Durcan’s statements in March, when he said Boise would be the best place for Micron to build a new plant capable of producing the next generation of memory chips. At the time, Durcan said Boise was the front runner because of the existing Micron research and development offices here and because of tax incentives passed by the Idaho Legislature three years ago.

Now a new plant in Boise is only “aspirational” and won’t likely happen any time soon, Durcan acknowledged Thursday.


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