Correction: The initial version of this story incorrectly described SoftBank as a Chinese company. SoftBank Group is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in the Minato City ward of Tokyo, Japan. The text below has been updated slightly to reflect this.
A report in London’s Financial Times newspaper, suggests Arm - designer of the low power chips which are in every facet of our lives - has reduced its UK staff headcount by 20%. The move goes against recruitment promises made by Softbank to the UK government when the Japanese conglomerate purchased the tech firm in 2016.
Arm, which makes its money selling licenses to make its chips to other companies such as Apple and Samsung, but doesn’t produce any products itself, has seen increased interest in its processors. With the rise of low-powered boards like the Raspberry Pi and its many alternatives, the M series of Apple Silicon taking the computing world by storm, and higher-powered Qualcomm chipsets appearing in laptops and top-end smartphones.
It seems worldwide employee layoffs of 18% have fallen more heavily on the UK staff than those in other countries. With numbers reduced across the rest of the world by 550, but 700 seeing an end to their employment in the UK. In the UK Arm had 3,500 employees, but this is now down to 2,800 after the cut. The move follows a somewhat torrid failed takeover by Nvidia, which saw the company valued at $66 billion. Arm’s CEO Rene Haas, who recently welcomed a refresh of the company's board members, stated previously that the firm needed to avoid duplication of work, rein in work on non-critical projects, and apply more discipline to overheads.
The move has, however, attracted the ire of UK trade union Unite, which called for a pause in job cuts in March this year so that a financial inspection could discover whether the company, which reported a net revenue of just over $2 billion in the nine-month period ending December 31 2021, but only $260,000 profit, really needed to cut the jobs. A statement at the time from an Arm spokesperson suggested “12-15 percent” of the workforce could be affected. Softbank itself reported a huge loss of $23.4 billion for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023 (which began on September 1 2022) thanks to enormous write-downs in investment valuations.
Softbank pledged to double the UK Arm workforce when it took over the company in 2016, and delivered on this by employing 1,730 new people, taking the British cohort to 3,500 employees. Today’s announcement sees 40% of that walked back.
Arm, which is expected to go public but has not yet announced an IPO, is currently advertising 373 roles in the UK, most of which are in engineering.
Why are you calling them Chinese? That's insulting to the Japanese and Chinese.
Do all us Asians look alike to you now that you can't do your basic research to get a company's national ownership correct?
facepalm It's corrected now, LOL
OH MY LORD< GET OVER YOURSELF!
People make mistakes. There's no reason to invoke racism when none exists.
It's things like this that make me want to punch something.
What a flimsy excuse. How convenient it is to constantly make mistakes when it comes to Ethnicity/Race in a modern multi-cultural interconnected world that we live in.
That kinda undersells them, don't you think? You wouldn't say a software company "makes its money selling software licenses, but doesn't produce any products itself".
ARM's main business isn't selling ISA licenses, but rather designing and selling CPU, GPU, AI, and interconnect IP. That's a lot like making and selling software, and even more like what fabless chip companies like Nvidia and AMD do. Except, there's an extra intermediary a between ARM and the fabs.
Currently, I think Apple and Nuvia/Qualcomm are the only active users of ISA licenses, though Nvidia also has one (and presumably AMD, from the K12 days).
Regardless, I offer my sympathies to the hard-working ARM (ex-) employees, out there.
Well there was / is an ARM China division that has made 90% of the ARM news in the last year or two.
Obviously it was an unintentional mistake.
I get that you have issues but it was obviously a mistake. It's not like anybody has ever mistaken an Irishman for a Englishman. You don't see the Irish throwing a hissy fit ... oh wait.
That being said, I'd never mix up China and Japan. Their differences are much greater than those of most neighboring European countries or US vs. Canada. But, a lot could change in 50 years or so. China is virtually unrecognizable from the country it was 50 years ago. Japan changed massively, in the 50 years following WW II.
The least you guys can do is tell us Asians apart.