National Semi Cuts 340 Jobs, Closes Cellular Unit

May 21, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

National Semiconductor Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) announced that it has closed its cellular base band unit, laying off 340 employees. The company had previously said that it was trying to sell the unit, in addition to its information appliance (IA) unit, in a profit-improvement plan laid out in February. Since then, National said it has met with several parties interested in IA, but apparently has not been able to find interest in its cellular base band unit.

The company will incur charges of $25 million to $30 million in its fourth quarter, ending May 25, 2003, for severance and impairment of certain assets. National said it remains on track with its profit-improvement plan, which it expects to result in cost savings of $30 million per quarter or $120 million per year. About $15 million of the $30 million in planned quarterly cost savings was achieved through actions implemented in the third quarter, which included a 500-employee layoff. The new actions will provide an additional $9 to $10 million toward the $30 million target, with the remainder coming from the IA sale.