SanDisk to trim its Israel workforce

SanDisk's Israel office declined to comment Thursday.

sandisk 88 298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
sandisk 88 298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
SanDisk Corporation, the flash-memory chipmaker, intends to fire more than 100 employees worldwide over the next three weeks, with more than half of the layoffs expected in Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned. "The layoffs are expected to be across the board and are part of the company's consolidation of activities and cost-reduction measures," an informed source said. "In Israel, SanDisk has been in the process of cutting a lot of its activities to concentrate in the US. As part of this move, several vice presidents of the company transferred from Israel to the US." SanDisk employees reportedly were shocked to hear about the news in the media before being informed by the company. SanDisk employs 3,000 people worldwide, including 700 in Israel. SanDisk's Israel office declined to comment Thursday. SanDisk, which makes flash-memory chips for devices like digital cameras and media players, has been cutting 10 percent of its workforce over the past year to remain profitable. It has also been forced to make steep price cuts at the retail level as a result of the sharp fall in flash-memory component prices. "Aggressive pricing of memory chips continues to weigh on sales of USB flash drives around the world, translating into lower sales and lower gross margins, forcing the company to reduce costs by reducing head count," the source said. In February 2007, following the acquisition of its Israeli rival M-Systems, SanDisk announced that it would lay off about 250 people, reduce executive salaries, freeze employee salaries and institute a hiring freeze, which was expected to save the company $30 million to $35m. annually. Meanwhile, IDT Global Services Israel Ltd., a subsidiary of IDT Corporation and one of the country's biggest employers of native English speakers, with about 800 employees, reportedly plans to lay off more than 100 workers. IDT Global Services was founded in Jerusalem in 2002 and has added call centers in Beersheba and Tel Aviv.