October 10, 2008

Micron to Idle 2,850 and Reduce Production

By Bloomberg News

Micron Technology Inc., the largest U.S. producer of memory chips, will cut about 2,850 jobs over the next two years and reduce production, in an industry glut.

The cuts represent about 15 percent of its global work force of 19,000. Micron will stop producing memory for digital cameras and mobile phones at its Boise headquarters, according to a statement Thursday.

Tumbling prices have driven Micron to losses totaling $1.9 billion in the past two years. Memory-chip manufacturers have built too many production lines and are flooding the market with products that sell for less than they cost to produce.

The reduction will cost $60 million and lead to savings next year of about $175 million. Micron, which produces so-called Nand flash memory for cameras and other portable devices in a joint venture with Intel Corp., will continue making such chips in its other locations.

The Boise closure won't have an impact on the joint venture with Intel, Chief Operating Officer Mark Durcan said. Micron and Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., operate plants in Lehi, Utah, and Manassas, Va., that produce the chips.

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