Job cuts sweep tech industry: Google, Motorola, Seagate, Sanyo, NEC & Microsoft affected

It's not a good day for a career in the tech industry, as multiple job cuts and proposed cuts are reported, including some from big names like Google.  According to the search giant's own blog, positions in both recruiting and engineering are at risk, with the former seeing 100 jobs cut outright, while the latter involves the closure (and potential for relocation) of offices in Austin, Texas; Trondheim, Norway; and Lulea, Sweden.  Google are hoping that the 70 engineers involved will be able to relocate rather than leave the company. 

Meanwhile, Motorola have scythed 4,000 jobs, three-quarters of which are from the company's handset division, for a total of 6-percent of their global operations.  It's part of an attempt to staunch the company's gushing cash reserves; the Q4 estimates suggest a 7 to 8 cent per share loss.  Overall, Motorola has now shed 7,000 staff.

It's not all American firms either; Sanyo have announced 1,200 job cuts globally, in the face of reduced demand and the strong yen.  The cuts will affect the semiconducter arm of the company, 800 in Japan and the remainder overseas, and take place by March 2009, and are prompted by the shock announcement that Sanyo expects to post zero profit for the current fiscal year.  Last May, Sanyo expected a 35-billion yen profit.  Similarly, NEC have announced their intent to lay off all but 200 of their 1,400 temporary workers by the end of March, affecting staff in eight plants across Japan.

Seagate is going for not only job cuts but pay cuts too, with around 2,950 jobs – or 6-percent of the workforce worldwide – going as sales of PCs drop and reduce demand for their drives.  They'll also cut 25-percent from the salary of the executive officers, including the CEO and executive VPs, the salaries of senior VPs by 20%; VPs, 15%; and management, sales, supervisors, and professional employees, 10%.  This will take place by the end of next month, and altogether – with job losses – save the firm $80m annually.

Finally, Microsoft are reportedly considering "significant work force reductions" that are expected to go public as early as next week, possibly during the company earning call.  Previous rumors suggested that the company would announce the loss of 15,000 jobs today, January 15th.