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Intel: 5% reduction of staff "not a layoff"

A layoff at Intel? Not quite.

Or at least, that's how the company is attempting to spin its plans to cut roughly five per cent of its workforce in 2014.

The news comes a day after the company announced a quarterly profit of $2.6 billion (£1.6 billion) on revenue of $13.8 billion (£8.4 billion) — both figures are up approximately three per cent from the same time period last year, but the company's yearly profit of $9.6 billion (£5.84 billion) was down 13 per cent from 2013's figures. Its sales were down one per cent to $52.7 billion (£32.1 billion), and Intel executives are predicting no growth (or loss) in 2014.

Intel's trimming – or whatever it happens to call the reduction in employee count – might not be as bad as it sounds. According to executives, Intel might just not elect to fill spots vacated by quitting or retiring workers.

Approximately four per cent of the company cycles each year, which seems a bit better than an arbitrary axing of a bit over 5,000 of the company's employees.

"It would be wrong to conclude this is a layoff," described Intel spokesman Chris Kraeuter in an interview with AFP.

According to company executives, Intel is planning to spend 2014 investing a bit more into areas like its Data Center Group, tablets, and low-power System-on-a-Chip products — like the company's recently announced Edison system, which amounts to a full computing system that's built into an area no larger than that of an SD card.

"We've established a goal to grow our tablet volumes to more than 40 million units. With an emphasis on the value segment, after finishing 2013 with more than 10 million units and a strong book of design wins, we're off to a good start," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on a recent conference call announcing the company's fourth-quarter results.

Intel just recently announced that it was scrapping plans to open up its Fab 42 plant in Chandler, Arizona. The fabrication plant, which would have cost in upwards of $5 billion (£3.04 billion) to make operational, would have created approximately 1,000 new jobs in the state.

While Intel did ultimately hire up just as many people in its other Arizona plants, the new building remains in a state of hold for right now.

"The new construction [of Fab 42] was originally slated for 14nm but through an ongoing drive in manufacturing efficiencies, Intel was able to continue to use its existing buildings for 14nm. This allows us to maintain the new building for additional capacity flexibility and future technologies," said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy in a statement.

Image: Flickr (Marius!!)