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Broadcom Laying Off LTE and Modem Design Employees 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the hit-the-road dept.
Dawn Kawamoto writes "Within days of closing its deal to acquire LTE-related assets from Renesas Electronics, Broadcom is now taking the hatchet to its own internal LTE and modem design team members by doling out pink slips. Although several hundred Broadcom workers in the U.S. and overseas are getting layoff notices, the figure could go substantially higher because the company expects to cut roughly $45 million in operating expenses relating to the deal between now and the next 12 months."
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Broadcom Laying Off LTE and Modem Design Employees

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hey guys thanks for working hard enough to let us buy out a competitor and then fire you. Appreciate it.

    -Management

    ha captcha is brighter

    • In other words the management is telling them they suck so they had to buy a competitor to do their job. I thought Renesas was a Japanese company?

      • And management deserves an extra-large bonus for realizing they had hired losers that needed to be replaced.

      • by jhol13 (1087781)

        Renesas is. But Renesas Mobile, which they really bought, is in a way a Finnish company as most workers are Finns. Renesas bought Wirelesss Modem division from Nokia back 2009.

      • by colordev (1764040)
        TFA says "This is the original Nokia modem team, it started work on LTE, a better part of a decade ago. These are some of the guys who created the LTE standard and were involved in the original algorithm work of LTE long before other companies were developing LTE, so we believe we found some really good talent here."

        Most of those ex-Nokia, ex-Renesas people are located in city of Oulu in Finland, and a few months ago all of them almost went unemployed because Renesas run out of money; right when this new
    • Re:the shaft (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday October 14, 2013 @04:26PM (#45125435) Homepage Journal

      and yet the employers still expect some sort of company loyalty...

      • Bingo.

        I'd never put any real effort into work for a private employer, except in a country where my employment was heavily protected.

        I don't know what possesses people to think any differently, but I think it's some variant of chasing a dragon.

    • Workers need more rights as well basic healthcare

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Workers need more rights as well basic healthcare

        Why do you want to hurt the Job Creators?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The employees were probably only engineers, historically the "profession" with the least professional protection.
      • Oh no, there's another profession with an even worse record.

        At least engineers haven't been targeted by Jack The Ripper and other serial murderers. Yet.

      • The employees were probably only engineers, historically the "profession" with the least professional protection.

        That's because you're talking about people too anti-social to form a professional organization and too "white collar" to consider unionizing.

    • Re:the shaft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2013 @04:47PM (#45125673)

      Never, ever, ever expect loyalty from ANY company. They are for-profit business constructs and don't give a shit about you except with regards to how you make them money.

      Give your loyalty to people instead.

  • Smart Move (Score:2, Informative)

    by EMG at MU (1194965)
    This isn't people with MBAs being evil, this is good business. They are getting a ton of talented engineers from Renessas. So if you need 100 engineers and all the sudden you buy another company that has another 100 engineers, you keep the best 100 and let the rest go.

    Don't ever expect a company to be loyal to you for a split second. If they can can your ass a day before your 40th year anniversary with the company to save a few bucks on the quarterly report they will. They legally have to. Corporations i
    • by Bucc5062 (856482)

      Bullshit...

      http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/8146/are-u-s-companies-legally-obligated-to-maximize-profits-for-shareholders [stackexchange.com]

      This is not about shareholder profits except for the few greedy fucks that gain from the mergers. In one point I will agree, this is American Corporate Capitalism and it is a mentality that will eventually take down this country more so they any terrorist. Mergers rarely help the greater social good and in the long run, that actually can run counter to shareholders (unless yo

      • Mergers rarely help the greater social good and in the long run, that actually can run counter to shareholders (unless you are referring to micro-traders).

        It's not about the greater social good, and it will never be about the greater social good. It's about adding the most shareholder value possible. It doesn't matter who or what the shareholders are: day traders, hedge funds, long term investors, its all completely irrelevant.

        Also, shareholders are not all equal. You reference "the few greedy fucks that gain from the mergers." The few greedy fucks probably own most of the company. Icahn wants to destroy every company he invests in and sell it off piece b

        • by Bucc5062 (856482)

          Clearly we will differ, but your view is one that leads to chaos. Time and time again, when the actions of the gentry act against a long term great good they, and the soceity they rule fail. Perhaps one day humanity will figure it out, but with people like you promoting a destructive approach to business, I doubt it.

          • Just because I recognize the way it is doesn't mean I support it. I'm not a 1%er, I'm a 9 to 5 firmware engineer. I'm just not naive about how the game is being played. The sooner we accept that these are the rules governing corporations the sooner we as a society can have a constructive conversation about how to change it.

            Attributing this behavior to greed is ignoring the problem. It's way beyond greed. Its systemic, the entire modern western way of life is based on exploiting someone or something for t
            • by Bucc5062 (856482)

              "I'm just not naive about how the game is being played"

              Nor am I and we already do know this is how they play the game. We also know how to fix it, but We Don't. As a Ninetofiver do you vote for representatives and work to help protect economic stability? I can easily state that I support actions by the FCC to stop the overthrow of net neutrality. I support that actions of the SEC and other agencies that work to stop mergers that would have a negative impact on society. Simply put, I support a governmen

      • agreed; this bullshit about 'they HAVE to do all they can to make money!' is just a smokescreen.

        they WANT to do this, but they are not compelled to, by force of law.

    • Amoral? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rob Y. (110975)

      I'm so sick of hearing "companies are amoral" as if that's some kind of excuse for psychopathic behavior. If Broadcom had to buy another company to produce a successful LTE product, it's because they (management) failed to produce one themselves. And not necessarily because the engineers in charge failed - more likely because some dopey manager with herd mentality stuck to the 'support Windows and the rest will follow' script.

      But "amoral" companies used to provide their employees with a modicum of securit

      • Companies are amoral. Period. The people running the company have to do what will produce the most shareholder value. It's not an excuse, its reality. That's the rules of the game that we all play. Don't like it, join the non-profit sector (which is also really fucked up), or lead a revolution.

        If somehow treating employees well lead to greater shareholder value, companies would do it. There are a few that try to leverage this, like Ben and Jerry's executive salary scheme. I can't think of many others tho
        • I agree with your general philosophy about corporations in the last few posts, and I don't think you're trolling. That said, we *have* found a way to get people to buy widget Y. We're not "making" them, and they won't "pay more" (relatively), but the solution is of course to tax widget X to try and offset the aforementioned environmental killing. Also, minimum wage.

          I expect you would agree that government regulation/oversight is the best combatant/balance for "amoral" corporatism.

          • I think that governmental regulation could address the problem. My fear would be that the government would just create loopholes for some corporations while applying regulations to others.

            I think a big part of the problem is consumers. We want cheap stuff, we don't care who made it, how much they were paid, and how sustainable the process was. Until that changes, there will be no political will to regulate corporations so that they have to treat employees with dignity.

            And it's not easy to try to be a
            • People will never, en-masse, just "choose" to buy from a company because it treats its employees better. Even if we all made good salaries this would happen more, but not enough to make a huge difference. It's too difficult to keep track of which companies are good and which are bad (which is very grey to begin with). It's just not a *good* solution. I may come off sounding as if I think the government is the place for all our answers, but in this case I think that's what it's for. We collectively create th

              • I think ideally that's what the government is for. I don't know if you are American or not, because it is laughable to think that the American government would punish "bad" corporations if anyone could even agree on what that means. The American government exists to preserve corporations. Why do you think they got the bailout.

                And yeah the 401k isn't terrible. I have one, I like it and I decide generally where the investment goes. However most people dont look at their 401k, and usually just use the defau
          • and I don't think you're trolling.

            You know I bet a lot of people do think I'm trolling. That didn't even occur to me.

            I'm trying to get people to move past the "fuck management" circlejerk and start talking about how America built, and is now built upon, the corporate capitalist system. If we wan't shit to change we have to look at our own spending habits and who we vote for (if we vote) and stop blaming people for doing their job.

            I'm an engineer, I have worked for corporations who have laid my colleagues off. I have been threatened t

        • by Xest (935314)

          "Companies are amoral. Period. The people running the company have to do what will produce the most shareholder value."

          But how is that defined, is there some court ruling in US history that value is defined purely as money?

          Value could equally arbitrarily defined as reputation, and if a company is more responsible then it's going to increase the reputation of shareholders thereby giving them value.

          I don't know how fucked up the US is on this issue but it strikes me that value is a rather arbitrary thing, peo

      • by lgw (121541)

        In John Galt's hidden mountain paradise, I'm sure there were people to clean the toilets - and I'll bet they were treated a lot better than Broadcom's employees...

        If I ever found myself in Galt's Gultch that's what I'd do. Supply and demand would work out well for me, I think. (BTW, have you ever actually read Atlas Shrugged? It's rather a dystopian novel than the reverse, and it's OK fiction if you just skip the 100 page Galt speech towards the end).

      • In John Galt's hidden mountain paradise, I'm sure there were people to clean the toilets - and I'll bet they were treated a lot better than Broadcom's employees...

        Right. They were treated more like the stuff swirling down in the Coriolis effect - flushing down the toilet.

        Engineers may be Broadcom's bread and butter, but all lunch will find its way down the drain.

        Corporations eat people like food. Its not personal, and the food source is irrelevant. The indifference to individual human beings stems from the fact that corporations are not people, they are an organization of hierarchical power...like the Donner Party.

        Soylent Green is people. We should look twice bef

        • I don't think that anyone sees the point. The corporate behavior doesn't seem legitimate. It is legitimate. It is law. It is how corporations have operated for over 100 years. It's the american way. We're all part of it.

          We can't change something we are all perpetuating.
      • by couchslug (175151)

        The flip side is employees have no moral obligation to their employer. My employer owes me nothing not spelt out in law, and I'm very aware I don't owe them more than that either. That frees me to behave in any legal way useful to me, no matter how dishonest.

        Fuck me? Less if I fuck you first. :-)

        I'm highly motivated to do well for a loyal employer, but cheerfully ruthless towards the other sort.

        Labor and management are inherently opponents unless they work (together) to come to some different arrangement.

    • Don't ever expect a company to be loyal to you for a split second. If they can can your ass a day before your 40th year anniversary with the company to save a few bucks on the quarterly report they will.

      I don't know why I keep seeing this mantra - its mostly incorrect. The law states it's the companies responsibility to make decisions in the best interests of the shareholder *not* maximise profits. Often, it is to maximise profits, but it can also be to add incentives like job security and benefits that attracts and keeps the best talent. Please stop saying they have to legally have to "save a few bucks" or make profit forsaking everything else. It is also my understanding that a Mission Statement can trum

      • If adding incentives and benefits in turn leads to shareholder value then that's what a company will do. I don't disagree.

        The current prevailing thought is leading corporations to consolidate operations in an effort to increase operating margin. During the recession companies have been figuring out ways to grow revenue without growing operational costs. You hear it all the time, companies are getting workers to be more productive.

        If whatever operating assumptions the company operates under say that fi
    • Companies aren't moral agents - their owners are, however, and are responsible for all the company's actions.

      McD+Walmart owners are immoral for not giving their employees a living wage, and their directors are immoral for their voluntary complicity.

      • Then there are a lot of people who are immoral, because anyone who has a 401k is probably invested in mutual funds, and those funds are usually invested in at least Walmart or McDonalds.

        Morals aren't real, their just things created to keep us in line.
        • Then there are a lot of people who are immoral, because anyone who has a 401k is probably invested in mutual funds, and those funds are usually invested in at least Walmart or McDonalds.

          Yup. Pay attention to your behaviour, and take responsibility for it.

          Also, morality is not black and white. There are degrees of good and bad behaviour.

          Morals aren't real, their just things created to keep us in line.

          So, morals aren't real, they're just real. OK.

    • by Xest (935314)

      "They legally have to. Corporations in America have to make the most money they can"

      Is that actually true or are you talking crap?

      I'm just amazed that any country would have a law that states companies legally have to make as much money as they can at all costs. It would also seem to go against America's ideals of freedom - shouldn't it be up to those in charge of the company to determine what the company's priorities are rather than have it legally enforced that they should only focus on profit?

      In the UK t

  • Prior to the Broadcom's announcement, it seems that, back in June, Renesas announced it was shutting down it's Renesas Mobile division (which appears to be the entity that Broadcom is purchasing). Given that several months have elapsed, one has to wonder how many engineers might have already jumped ship.

    Then again, it is possible Broadcom might have made the purchase just to get the Renesas IP and LTE chipset (which supposedly is ready to go), but that doesn't seem consistent with firing their own internal

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...it is possible Broadcom might have made the purchase just to get the Renesas IP and LTE chipset (which supposedly is ready to go), but that doesn't seem consistent with firing their own internal engineering staff.

      Why isn't that consistent? Suppose your own staff has been working to try to get a new project out the door, but failing. The upper managment decides to buy some company that has a working version.

      Do you keep both groups around?

      I don't know about the engineers in your company, but many engineers tend to be very NIH (not invented here), and given some potentially difficulties that are inherent in merging staff from different companies, sometimes companies just cut the cord and can the internal engineering

      • by Guppy (12314)

        Why isn't that consistent? Suppose your own staff has been working to try to get a new project out the door, but failing. The upper managment decides to buy some company that has a working version.

        Do you keep both groups around?

        I apologize if my writing was ambiguous. What I was speculating on, is that if all the decent engineers from Renesas have already left (in the three-month interval since the previously announced shutdown), then Broadcom would be left buying IP plus an empty building. So either Renesas has managed to retain its engineers, or Broadcom has no clue and is going to have no engineering team to support their new product.

        • by jhol13 (1087781)

          There are layoffs in the "remains of the Renesas" too, just now.

          Broadcom had bought some other company whose name I cannot remember to do the LTE but found out that by buying Renesas Mobile they can get LTE faster. For example Renesas Mobile could demonstrate 300Mbit data link. Perhaps first in the world?

          The layoffs mentioned in the article seems to be in the "old" LTE team.

    • No, they will keep the Renesas team I believe as they need them. And the people they're laying off were recently (3 years ago, around October 2010) acquired. In short, historically Broadcom had its own 2G and 3G with associated engineers. When they looked at LTE, instead of developing the technology in-house they acquired a start-up called Beceem. Beceem was doing WiMAX successfully, and as everyone doing WiMAX were in the process of switching to LTE and had started announcing they were on it.

      Three years
  • Skynet is complete - you have made your chains now go and wear them somewhere else.

  • Bigger than reported (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14, 2013 @05:35PM (#45126223)
    From what I hear through the grapevine, this goes beyond the LTE and modem design teams. Layoffs are happening in many more departments.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed, at my site about 10% were let go, none of them in LTE or modem. It looks like corporate just made a blanket requirement that 10% of the workforce be riffed.

  • I fully expected a NO CARRIER joke.
    Too soon?

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