About seven years ago, Intel began a painful process of mass layoffs. During the process, which began in 2015 and continued until 2016, 13,000 employees were made redundant. Brian Krzanich was CEO at the time, and in addition to being instrumental in this layoff strategy, he endorsed a controversial no-rehire policy. That policy has been quietly rolled back, reports The Oregonian.
The source says Intel is in a staffing crisis and the no-rehire policy hasn’t helped. The chipmaker currently needs thousands of employees across the United States, with ambitious expansion plans still underway, which will further drive demand for qualified and experienced personnel.
Intel can’t be sure that its reversal of the no-rehire policy will be a big success, but in what’s being characterized as a nationwide labor shortage, any potential help will be gratefully received. The no-rehire policy was not only frowned upon by those fired under Krzanich. Those who stayed will have been upset that when vacancies appeared they could not be filled by old friends and former trusted and experienced colleagues.
We are now in mid-2022, with CEO Gelsinger now firmly in place, a leader with an established history of hiring his former colleagues into very high positions. So it’s no surprise that the 2015/2016 no-rehire rule was scrapped.
In case you were wondering why the rule was written in the first place, Krzanich is quoted as explaining “We’re trying to build a different business. You don’t orchestrate change by doing things the same way.” At first glance, this may seem logical, but people are very adaptable, and in 2022 Intel is struggling to hire qualified and experienced staff. Moreover, while Krzanich seemed somewhat negative about the PC in his outlook, Gelsinger could be called an evangelist of PC, engineering and chip manufacturing.
In a statement received by The Oregonian, an Intel spokesperson reportedly said, “A number of years have passed since the 2015/2016 restructuring and those affected may have new and additional skills that are valuable to Intel’s current business strategies. The spokesperson went on to say that most of those affected by the mass layoffs initiated seven years ago will be eligible to apply for current vacancies.
Of course, Intel can’t progress and fill all the roles it needs using only old hands. Thus, he also announced new training programs. With these programs, he hopes to create training and a career path for high school and community college students who want to work in the chip industry.
This is all exciting news as chip rival Nvidia is reportedly slowing its hiring activity due to rising inflation and the specter of a recession on the horizon. Whatever happens, it looks like Intel and Nvidia have different expectations for the months and years ahead, or at the very least planning for the long term rather than the short term. It will be interesting to see where the two companies are in a few years and which strategy turns out to be the smartest for the chipmaking giants.