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Qualcomm Confirms: More than 4,500 Jobs to be Cut

Wireless communications giant Qualcomm Inc. plans to lay off 15 percent of its staff as part of what it calls a “strategic realignment.” The company laid out its plan on July 22.

Nearly 2,000 San Diegans will lose their jobs under the plan. Qualcomm has 13,000 employees in San Diego.

Slightly more than 4,500 jobs will be cut worldwide, in San Diego and elsewhere. The company has about 31,000 employees in total.

The cuts will be across the board, affecting all parts of the company. The majority of job losses will be in Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, the company’s chip-making unit.

The business also plans to have fewer offices and plans to ship some work to low-cost areas, CEO Steve Mollenkopf told industry analysts.

Qualcomm also plans to take a fresh look at the idea of splitting up the company, Chairman Paul Jacobs told financial analysts on a conference call. One option would be to split the company’s intellectual property licensing unit from its chip-making unit.

Qualcomm has been under pressure from changing market conditions and investors seeking more return from the company. Earlier in the year, the Jana Partners hedge fund made several demands of the company. Qualcomm said it is appointing two representatives from Jana Partners to its board, and it will name a third board member soon.

The job cuts are part of a wider cost-cutting effort, though Mollenkopf said the company would not sacrifice areas where the company can grow.

Mollenkopf said the company’s future was bright and that it has weathered changing times before.

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