(Photo: Christian Wiediger/Unsplash)In an attempt to cut costs, Intel is pausing all hiring for its client computing group.
The freeze will last at least two weeks, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters. It’s currently set to affect only the portion of the company that deals with non-Apple desktop and laptop chips. “All hiring and all job requisitions” will be on hold as division leadership re-evaluates its priorities. Intel will still honor previously-extended job offers.
Intel’s freeze joins that of several other tech companies. Salesforce, Uber, and Netflix (the last of which is admittedly going through a slew of unique problems) have all recently announced pauses in their recruitment processes as the tech boom from the last two years begins to deflate. While some of these pauses constitute healthy reconsideration of the company’s position in a changing market, others represent an effort to avoid what everyone dreads most: mass layoffs.
It’s hard to tell which of these categories Intel’s freeze falls within. The company is obviously playing it cool: “We believe we are at the beginning of a long-term growth cycle across the semiconductor industry and we have the right strategy in place,” Intel told Reuters in a statement. “Increased focus and prioritization in our spending will help us weather macroeconomic uncertainty, execute on our strategy and meet our commitments to customers, shareholders, and employees.” Similar things have been said just before reductions in force, however—especially as tech companies learn to operate with slimmer teams than they’ve previously enjoyed.
Intel might be working to this end with its client computing group. This division makes up the largest portion of the company’s sales, having generated $9.3 billion of a total $18.4 billion in revenue last quarter. But the division faces more competition now than ever before. Between AMD’s growth and Apple’s pivot toward its own chips, the client computing group has been forced to rethink its strategy. This will include other cost-cutting measures, like travel restrictions, expanded virtual work, and less participation in industry conferences.
Despite a 28 percent drop in stock price in the last year, Intel doesn’t seem to be pausing hiring across all departments. CEO Pat Gelsinger has promised the company will continue to onboard 23,000 employees over the next 90 days.