Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said something startling toward the end of the company’s earnings call on Tuesday.
The company had a decent quarter, beating expectations on both revenue and earnings, but it also announced that it would lay off up to 12,000 employees and take a $1.2 billion charge as it streamlines its PC business and focuses on newer areas.
So who’s going to determine exactly which employees are cut?
A lot of that, apparently, will come down to what Venkatha “Murthy” Renduchintala, thinks should be cut.
About 56 minutes into the call (audio here), analyst David Wong from Wells Fargo asked Intel, “will there be any product lines or types of products that you’ll be pulling out of in the future, with all the cuts that you’re making?”
Yeah, I’m sure that as we go through this and we finish the project evaluations, there will be some products that we’ll exit from…. “Murthy,” who we’ve brought into the company, is doing a complete review of all of our products, and he’s going to report back to me in the near future and give me a proposal for what those look like. So we don’t have any set out today, but at the end I’m sure there will be a few that will be a part of that.
Intel hired Murthy away from Qualcomm last year. Qualcomm at one point dominated chips going into smartphones, although its position has been eroded by lower cost competitors and the company’s stock took a beating last year . Nonetheless, Intel has barely any presence at all in smartphones, and now it’s looking to Murthy to figure out how to get better.
Ealier in April, Murthy reportedly wrote a scathing memo to Intel’s top execs criticizing “a lack of product/customer focus in execution that is creating schedule and competitiveness gaps in our products.”
It’s not yet clear where Murthy sees the dead wood at Intel. But as details of his synopsis start to emerge, anybody who finds themselves in one of those groups should be worried.