Wed, Jul 04, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Renesas to axe at least 5,000 jobs


Employees of Japan’s microprocessor maker Renesas Electronics Corp walk through the company’s Naka wafer fabrication factory in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, on June 10 last year.

Photo: AFP

Renesas Electronics Corp, the world’s biggest maker of microcontrollers for cars, will reduce more than 5,000 jobs, or 12 percent of its workforce, through a buyout of workers as it seeks to end losses by restructuring.

Renesas announced the plan in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday. The company had 42,800 workers as of the end of March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Kawasaki, Japan-based company has reported losses every year since it was formed in 2010 through the merger of money-losing chipmakers Renesas Technology Corp, a venture between Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Electric Corp, and NEC Electronics Corp.

The company’s customers include Apple Inc and Sony Corp, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The manufacturer, 91 percent owned by NEC, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric, posted a net loss of ¥62.6 billion (US$784.25 million) in the year ended March 31.

Falling demand for televisions and a drop in prices for chips used in personal computers have eroded profit at Renesas’s unit making System LSI chips, used for functions ranging from processing images for TV screens to crunching data.

Sharp Corp, Sony and Panasonic, Japan’s three biggest television makers, posted a combined ¥1.6 trillion loss last fiscal year as TV prices declined.

Declining prices for DRAM chips, the main memory used in PCs, led Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc to file for bankruptcy in February.

As part of restructuring since the company was founded, it has sold its high-power amplifier business to Murata Manufacturing Co in March and sold a plant in northern Japan to Fuji Electric Co on July 1.

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