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Renesas CEO retires amid losses, layoffs

Posted: 03 Feb 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU  microcontrollers  wafer  layoffs 

The top executive of Japan's Renesas Technology Corp., Satoru Ito, is retiring from his post as the company suffers huge losses due to the IC downturn. Renesas is projected to lose Rs.11,478.35 crore ($2.294 billion) due to slumping sales, and is undertaking layoffs and fab shutdowns. Ito, who has been the company's chairman and CEO since 2006, is retiring to become chairman emeritus, as current president and COO Katsuhiro Tsukamoto takes his place as chairman and board director. Yasushi Akao, will take up the post of president, while continuing as board director.

The company is reducing temporary workers at production sites by 2,500 employees and is cutting the number of contractors. In contrast to the current early retirement system, Renesas (Tokyo) is implementing a ''limited-time special retirement programme'' with an added bonus for fiscal 2008.

As part of the plan, Renesas will focus more on microcontrollers and other products. The company is the world's largest MCU supplier.

Beginning in fiscal 2009, Renesas will shift an undisclosed number of employees to strengthen the microcontroller business, including reassignment of personnel from sectors of system solutions business, production units and other areas, to design and engineering for the MCU business.

It will also shutter older production lines. By downsizing the production capacity of the 5- and 6-inch front-end process lines, as well as moving to larger wafers, Renesas aims to increase efficiency in manufacturing.

Renesas plans the following moves:

*Front-end process facility: Kofu Site (Kai, Yamanashi Prefecture). The Kofu Site is Renesas Technology's main production base for standard products such as diodes and transistors. The 5-inch lines at Kofu are being closed down and their production will be consolidated into the 6-inch lines by the end of fiscal 2009. Additionally, the 8-inch lines will be expanded.

*Front-end process facility: Takasaki Site (Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture). The Takasaki Site is a main production base for standard products such as transistors and linear devices. Its 5-inch lines will be consolidated into the 6-inch lines by the end of fiscal 2010. In addition, the products manufactured on the 6-inch lines are gradually being transferred to 8-inch lines at other sites.

*Front-end process facility: Kochi Site (Konan, Kochi Prefecture). At the Kochi Site, a main manufacturing centre for MCUs and mixed signal devices using 6-inch lines, the operations of the second floor are being consolidated into the ground floor production lines in order to boost production efficiency. This transition is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2009.

*Front-end process facility: Renesas Northern Japan Semiconductor, Tsugaru Factory (Goshogawara, Aomori Prefecture). The Tsugaru Factory, a base of a manufacturing subsidiary of Renesas, produces MCUs using 6-inch lines. Part of the lines at the factory will be halted in FY2009, in order to increase efficiency.

*Back-end process facility: Renesas Eastern Japan Semiconductor, Gunma Factory (Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture). The Gunma Factory produces standard products such as diodes and linear devices as a manufacturing subsidiary of Renesas Technology. The company will re-evaluate the use of its production lines for improving efficiency.

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