SoftBank's UK unit Arm to slash hundreds of jobs after Nvidia deal collapse

Arm had been spending heavily to build up its operations after being acquired by SoftBank in 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (BLOOMBERG) - Arm, the SoftBank Group unit preparing for an initial public offering, will cut as much as 15 per cent of its workforce as part of an effort to rein in spending and focus on fewer projects.

The British company will shed 12 per cent to 15 per cent of staff in Britain and the United States, chief executive officer Rene Haas said in a memo to staff, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The high end of that range would involve close to 1,000 jobs, but most of the cuts will not affect engineers, the person said.

Mr Haas took the top job at the designer of semiconductors last month following the collapse of a proposed sale to Nvidia for US$40 billion (S$54.7 billion). Since the deal fell apart, SoftBank has reverted to a previous plan to cash in on its investment by selling Arm shares in the public market.

Mr Haas is shaking up one of the most important firms in the US$500 billion semiconductor industry. Arm's designs and technology are ubiquitous, playing key roles in everything from the most powerful data centre chips to Apple iPhones. The company had been spending heavily to build up its operations after being acquired by SoftBank in 2016.

"Like any business, Arm is continually reviewing its business plan to ensure the company has the right balance between opportunities and cost discipline," the company said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this process includes proposed redundancies across Arm's global workforce."

The contents of the internal memo were earlier reported by the Telegraph.

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