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Western Digital Reduces Workforce By 800


Western Digital (WD) said that it will cut about 800 employees from its global workforce of 42,500. The reduction is said to be primarily a result of a restructuring following the acquisition of disk maker Komag. 770 people in Malaysia and "approximately" 30 in the San Jose, California, will lose their jobs, WD stated.

According to a statement, the manufacturer will focus its Malaysian facilities in Penang solely on the production of magnetic media, while substrate plating and polishing operations, currently in Penang, will be consolidated into the company’s two other Malaysian substrate facilities in Kuching and Johor Bahru.

According to a recent market report published by iSuppli, WD’s stock is currently close to a 10-year high, giving the company a market capitalization of about $6.5 billion. In contrast, market leader Seagate, which was relisted on the stock market in late 2002, has shown a flat performance over the past years, with a market cap that is stuck in the $11.5 billion neighborhood. iSuppli believes that Wall Street especially likes WD’s improving gross margin, which was 23.3% in Q4 2007, up from 15.7% in Q1 2007. Also, WD appears to have managed the integration of Komag in a near perfect way - and without suffering any loss of gross margin.