Gigabyte Planning Layoffs Amid Motherboard Woes - Report

Gigabyte might pass out some pink slips in the coming months. According to a report from DigiTimes today, the company is planning to lay off some of its workforce, mostly from its motherboard business, as the segment’s dwindling sales numbers are expected to continue declining into 2019.

The report cites “market watchers,” who say Gigabyte will let go of 5 to 10 percent of its employees to reduce sales and marketing expenses in the first half of this year; however, Gigabyte declined to comment. DigiTimes claimed Gigabyte doesn’t currently plan to lay off any workers from its graphics card business. 

DigiTimes said the layoffs in the motherboard department result from the segment’s poor sales performance over the last few years. Sales for 2016 reached 16 million, then fell to 12.6 million in 2017, then fell even further to 11.45 million in 2018. 

Gigabyte isn’t the only company struggling to sell its motherboards. This is an industry-wide problem that some, like MSI CEO Charles Chiang told us, have blamed on the shortage of Intel’s desktop processors. If people can’t buy new CPUs, they probably aren’t going to buy new motherboards.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • jasonsrevell
    Intel chip shortage? That's a convenient excuse but I don't see that as a reason for a lack of MOBO sales. Well for one thing, you've got the hobby favorite Ryzen 5 2600 CPU. That's not an Intel chip. Most hobbyists are running low to mid range setups and there seems to be plenty of Core i3 and Core i5s around.
    I would estimate it has more to do with pc builders holding onto their MOBOs for at least 3-4 years before changing them out and not that many people building new PCs in general. Of course that doesn't apply to Toms readers. MSI in particular seems to not be able to keep up with demand for their inexpensive B450 boards, that is limiting their sales. Gigabyte has recently earned a reputation for shoddy gamer marketed boards just look at their amazon reviews mostly around 3 stars.
  • osiris11235
    This is sad. I've been very happy with my Z390 AORUS XTREME, which has several features not replicated on other brands' Z390 boards.
  • logainofhades
    Their quality has been hit and miss, as of late, which is sad.
  • stdragon
    It's because their support sucks or is non-existent. They make quality hardware, but again, post-sales support is severely lacking.

    If Gigabyte is suffering, it's because of their short sightedness
  • mikewinddale
    "post-sales support is severely lacking"

    Can you elaborate? Any articles about this?

    I recently bought a Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi, and I started having intermittent problems with sleep mode. Sometimes, when coming out of sleep, the computer would reboot. I emailed Gigabyte support, and they replied a day or two later with a beta BIOS that fixed the problem.

    Anyway, I'm quite happy with that motherboard. It supports ECC and it has more temperature sensors and a beefier VRM heatsink that most competing motherboards. So I hope Gigabyte doesn't downsize their motherboard division too much.
  • Brian_R170
    21731958 said:
    Intel chip shortage? That's a convenient excuse but I don't see that as a reason for a lack of MOBO sales.

    Exactly. If the demand exists but Intel can't supply enough CPUs, then AMD and it's partners will be more than happy to make up the supply difference as fast as they can. Plus, Intel's shortage is expected to get better in Q1 and Q2. If desktop motherboard demand simply stays flat, they'll have to hire back as many people as they let go within 6 months. Unless Gigabyte is losing market share for other reasons.

  • Tanyac
    Intel had insisted on using Hyped up Killer LAN ports that are poor performers compared to the Intel LAN ports. That and a lack of fan headers and the second highest pricing around here (beaten only by ASUS), were the three reasons I would not buy a Gigabyte board. The last one I bought, the X99 Designare wouldn't even boot with a 5930K CPU.

    All of the big 4 mobo makers have poor warranty support, particularly ASRock which has no presence in Australia and just flat out refuses to warrant it's product. Back in the day when I did use Gigabyte (Up to around the P67 chipset), I had more Gigabyte boards fail than any other brand at that time.
  • 10tacle
    21732076 said:
    Their quality has been hit and miss, as of late, which is sad.

    And it's not just their motherboards. I stopped recommending their GPUs about four years ago when their GTX 9xx series cards started having a high rate of failure reports. A Gigabyte was my first build motherboard two decades ago.

    Anyway, I don't know what's happened to them because they were always in my top three tier with ASUS and MSI rounding out the top two spots respectively for both motherboards and GPUs. The fact they blame Intel's chip "shortage" for it when ASUS and MSI are humming along fine in mobo sales says it all.

    No, it's not Intel's 9-series chip shortage, which itself is a perfect storm of demand vs. supply, never mind as someone else brought up that AMD sells CPUs as well needing motherboards. And it's certainly not the first time we've seen this happen with a new generation of CPU either, especially with a fab reduction in the works which is even affecting the current five year old 14nm node 9-series.
  • grofaz10
    A 'new' but wonky USB interface for Win 10 that stops Windows 7 from boot is one of the unwanted and annoying things about what used to be problem-free motherboards. Yes Martha there is a Win 7 work around, but why should there need be? Win 10 is flawed enough to keep Win 7 going (unsupported) for most of the next decade.

    And, yes, their customer service does suck - hadn't realized Taiwan had so many public holidays.
  • Tanyac
    So the general consensus seems to be that Intel are the only people who don't really understand why they aren't selling boards. That's sad.