Fears of job cuts at storage giant Seagate’s operations in Northern Ireland have been stoked, as it has emerged that Seagate plans to cut an additional 6,500 positions worldwide by the end of 2017 because of a slump in the PC market.
The declining fortunes of the PC industry are contributing to a fall-off in demand for PC components, such as storage.
Only last month, Seagate planned to cut 1,600 jobs worldwide. This corresponded to 70 job cuts at Seagate’s Northern Ireland operations.
‘The evolution of mobile and cloud-data-driven environments continues to define itself as requiring significant amounts of mass storage’
– STEVE LUCZO, SEAGATE
California-headquartered Seagate last night reported Q4 revenues of $2.3bn and a gross margin of 23pc.
However, despite higher-than-expected demand for hard disks, Seagate announced a new restructuring plan that will reduce its global headcount by a further 6,500 employees, or 14pc of its global workforce by the end of 2017.
Seagate is one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland and currently employs 1,400 people in the North.
Since arriving in Derry in 1993 it has invested more than £1bn in capital, research and development spend, salaries and sourcing in Northern Ireland.
Two years ago, Seagate unveiled a £34.7m R&D project for its Northern Ireland operations.
Seagate CEO Steve Luczo said that the company is repositioning itself for a post-PC era in a move that echoes a similar repositioning by chip giant Intel. In April, Intel revealed 12,000 job cuts due to falling PC sales and a change in focus towards data centres, cloud and internet of things opportunities.
“The evolution of mobile and cloud-data-driven environments continues to define itself as requiring significant amounts of mass storage,” Luczo said.
“HDD devices are where most data bits ultimately reside and our record HDD exabyte shipments in the June quarter, particularly due to enterprise demand, continue to support this thesis.”
Seagate image via Shutterstock