Arm’s UK Staff Cut ‘By up to 20%'

The Arm logo
(Image credit: Arm Holdings)

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 (opens in new tab) 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.

The Arm building, Cambridge, UK. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

(Image credit: CMGlee, Barber - Casanovas - Ruffles)

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 (opens in new tab) and its many (opens in new tab) alternatives (opens in new tab), the M series of Apple Silicon taking the computing world by storm (opens in new tab), and higher-powered Qualcomm (opens in new tab) chipsets appearing in laptops (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), is currently advertising 373 roles in the UK, most of which are in engineering.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.

  • Kamen Rider Blade
    Ian Evenden, you know that Softbank is a fully Japanese Company, right?

    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?
    Reply
  • sundragon
    Kamen Rider Blade said:
    Ian Evenden, you know that Softbank is a fully Japanese Company, right?

    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
    Reply
  • brandonjclark
    Kamen Rider Blade said:
    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?

    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.
    Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade
    brandonjclark said:
    OH MY LORD< GET OVER YOURSELF!
    NO!

    People make mistakes. There's no reason to invoke racism when none exists.
    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.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Then the claims by Nvidia that ARM would see significant staffing cuts if the sale didn't go through turned out to be reality, not false posturing.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    @sundragon :
    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,
    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).
    Reply
  • bit_user
    spongiemaster said:
    Then the claims by Nvidia that ARM would see significant staffing cuts if the sale didn't go through turned out to be reality, not false posturing.
    That doesn't mean regulators were wrong to reject Nvidia's acquisition bid. ...not that I ever called such claims into question, myself.

    Regardless, I offer my sympathies to the hard-working ARM (ex-) employees, out there.
    Reply
  • OriginFree
    Kamen Rider Blade said:
    NO!


    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.

    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.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    OriginFree said:
    It's not like anybody has ever mistaken an Irishman for a Englishman.
    Neighboring countries often harbor animosities towards each other, which makes the offense of confusing them seem very egregious to them. What's funny is how those at some distance frequently confuse them or even fail to see a meaningful distinction. And that's a universal phenomenon. Some of that is merely due to ignorance, but it should also give us pause when we think about it from a global/human scale.

    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.
    Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade
    OriginFree said:
    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.
    I've never confused a Irishman for a Englishman and vice versa.

    The least you guys can do is tell us Asians apart.
    Reply