Qualcomm Downsizes, Eyes Foreign Workers


The San Diego Union-Tribune reported how Qualcomm plans to downsize while asking for and receiving visas for foreign workers.

Qualcomm has not release official details about how many employees stand to lose their jobs in the upcoming downsizing, however, the company employs 15,000 full and part-time workers. According to the story, targets include a 15% reduction in the mobile semi-conductor business and CDMA mobile technologies, streamlining of the engineering organization, reduction in temporary workforce and an “increase(d) mix of resources in lower-cost regions and reduce locations”.

Since 2012, Qualcomm received 2,036 H-1B visas. The company claims these visa are applied to science and technology jobs. They claim the United States doesn’t produce enough prospective employees in the Science and Technology field.

However, H1-B visa employees offer organizations some interesting advantages:

1. Foreign workers are happy to have an opportunity to live and work in the United States.
2. H1-B visa holders cannot change jobs unless they get a similar visa sponsorship from another company.
3. Companies must make stringent cases as to why the foreign worker’s skills are more unique than an American citizen’s.
4. Foreign employees are often paid a lower wage to compensate for employment and the advantage of living and working in the United States.

“In an interview, Qualcomm President Derek Aberle characterized the cost cuts as a reboot for Qualcomm after five years of rapid growth.

“We’ve essentially almost doubled the size of the company,”he said. “So I think through a combination of looking at how we were structured when we were half the size versus where we are today — and looking at where the industry itself is — we felt that we were in a position to restructure in a way to take out costs without losing our leadership position.” — San Diego Union-Tribune