(Feb 1): Intel Corp, struggling with a rapid drop in revenue and earnings, is cutting management pay across the company to cope with a shaky economy and preserve cash for an ambitious turnaround plan.
Chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger is taking a 25% cut to his base salary, the chipmaker said on Tuesday (Jan 31). His executive leadership team will see their pay packets decreased by 15%. Senior managers will take a 10% reduction, and the compensation for mid-level managers will be cut by 5%.
“As we continue to navigate macroeconomic headwinds and work to reduce costs across the company, we’ve made several adjustments to our 2023 employee compensation and rewards programs,” Intel said in a statement. “These changes are designed to impact our executive population more significantly and will help support the investments and overall workforce needed to accelerate our transformation and achieve our long-term strategy.”
The move follows a gloomy outlook from Intel last week, when the company predicted one of the worst quarters in its more than 50-year history. Stiffer competition and a sharp slowdown in personal-computer demand have wiped out profits and eaten into Intel’s cash reserves. At the same time, Gelsinger wants to invest in the company’s future. He’s two years into a turnaround effort aimed at restoring Intel’s technological leadership in the US$580 billion chip industry.
Gelsinger will keep using cash to reward shareholders, meanwhile. Intel said last week that it remains committed to offering a competitive dividend. Analysts have speculated that the company may lower its payout to cope with the slowdown.
Under Gelsinger’s plan, the company is looking to introduce new production technology at an unprecedented pace. It will also build new plants in Europe and the US and try to win orders from other chipmakers as an outsourced manufacturer. That move will put Intel in direct competition with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Samsung Electronics Co, two Asian companies that have passed it in the rankings of chipmakers by size and capabilities.
Intel isn’t the only big company trimming executive pay. Apple Inc, one of the few tech giants to forgo major layoffs, is cutting the pay of CEO Tim Cook by more than 40% to US$49 million for 2023. Some high-profile finance firms have made similar moves, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO David Solomon seeing his 2022 compensation trimmed by about 30% to US$25 million.
Intel is taking other steps to rein in expenses. That includes headcount reductions and slower spending on new plants — part of an effort to save US$3 billion annually. That figure will swell to much as US$10 billion a year by the end of 2025, the company has said.
Intel, which informed staff of the latest cutbacks earlier on Tuesday, is also reducing the match it offers to pension contributions. The Santa Clara, California-based company thanked employees for their patience and commitment.
Hourly workers and employees below the seventh tier in the company’s system won’t be affected.