Layoffs at Texas Instruments Expected in Israel This Week

Up to 250 employees expected to go as part of worldwide effort to reduce staff levels by 5% of total workforce.

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Up to 250 employees of Texas Instruments in Israel are expected to be laid off this week as part of a worldwide effort by the company to reduce staff levels by about 1,700, roughly 5% of TI's global workforce. The dismissals are to be spread over several calendar quarters.

After the dismissals, fewer than 100 employees will remain at the company's development center here. It should be noted that, as reported in TheMarker last week, the latest layoffs come at a time when scores of Israeli tech companies, most of them young, fast-growing start-ups, are taking on hundreds of new employees.

Sources close to Texas Instruments said the company's management had hinted that there was a small chance the TI development center here would be sold. Earlier this month, the U.S. parent company, whose Israeli operations are based in Ra'anana, announced plans to stop producing chips for cellular telephones, some of which are made here. Avner Goren, co-general manager of Texas Instruments in Israel, said the company has decided not to concentrate efforts on the cellular chip market, where he said customers are increasingly custom designing their own chips.

A division has emerged in recent months between old-line Israeli tech companies, including those in the fields of communications equipment and semiconductors, and young software companies specializing in security, mobile and Internet.

The changes reflect a shift in the center of gravity for both Israeli and global high-tech that began almost a decade ago, from hardware to software.

Currently, Texas Instruments employs a workforce of about 350 people at its Ra'anana development center. Its primary activity there is the development of wireless communications components for the company's chips, including WiFi, Bluetooth and other wireless communications technology, in conjunction with development centers in India and the United States.

Another Texas Instruments development center, in Herzliya, was closed about four years ago.

A Texas Instruments Inc. employee, center, makes a 3D television demonstration at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. Credit: Bloomberg

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