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Increasing Layoffs in Silicon Valley

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Originally posted May 1st, 2008.

On Tuesday April 29th, National Semiconductor eliminated 130 positions as part of a strategic re-organization effort.

Although most laid off employees were granted moderate to generous severance packages, the news came as a shock to many, and the way the company handled the situation made me realize how a few subtle touches can make a huge difference in the emotional morale of the employees.

When eBay eliminated 175 jobs on April 1st, employees were given two weeks notice and asked to work out an exit plan with their managers, ensuring they had enough time to look for some positions internally, exchange contacts with colleagues, and transform the remaining work to the appropriate employees.

At National, however, many employees were simply told the news in early afternoon and expected to hand in their computers and cell phones and walk out right away.

Not sure which method is best for most people, but I think given the choice, I would much prefer the eBay method, while I also know of many people who prefer the National way, being at once done with the whole thing. What is your take on it?

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