Loss of employees on Malaysia flight a blow, U.S. chipmaker says

SAN FRANCISCO Sun Mar 9, 2014 7:12pm EDT

Related Topics

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Employees of Freescale Semiconductor who were on a Malaysia Airlines flight presumed to have crashed were doing sophisticated work at the U.S. chipmaker, a company spokesman said on Sunday.

The 20 Freescale employees, among 239 people on flight MH370, were mostly engineers and other experts working to make the company's chip facilities in Tianjin, China, and Kuala Lumpur more efficient, said Mitch Haws, vice president, global communications and investor relations.

"These were people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people," Haws said. "It's definitely a loss for the company."

None of Austin, Texas-based Freescale's most senior executives were on board the Boeing Co 777-200ER airliner that vanished from radar screens about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on Saturday.

The employees who were on board, 12 from Malaysia and eight from China, came from a range of disciplines and they were part of a broad push by Chief Executive Officer Gregg Lowe to make Freescale more efficient and cost effective, Haws said.

Top-quality engineers are hard to come by for chipmakers and other technology companies, and losing them can have a major impact on business, regardless of their seniority.

While the employees on the flight account for less than 1 percent of Freescale's global workforce of 16,800 people, they were working toward the same goals and their loss will reverberate throughout Freescale, Haws said.

They had been streamlining facilities in Tianjin and Kuala Lumpur that Freescale uses for testing and packaging microchips used in automobiles, consumer products, telecommunications infrastructure and industrial equipment.

On Sunday, Freescale was organizing transportation and accommodation for the 20 staff members' families, as well as providing grief counseling, Haws said.

One of the chipmaker's long-time competitors, Texas Instruments, tweeted on Saturday: "We extend our condolences to the families and coworkers of the @Freescale employees aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370."

(Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
hpbish wrote:
Whenever you hear the words “fake/stolen passports” what’s the first thing that springs to mind? Haha! I didn’t even have to say it.
Yeah, they’re not called “the usual suspects” for no reason.

Mar 10, 2014 1:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TommasoT wrote:
Let’s examine another mystery disappearance. Valentich was flying a single engined Cessna from Melbourne, when he was ‘taken’ by a large UFO, this according to THE GOVT. REPORT! His final radio transmission ended with a buzzing sound. See Valentich Wikipedia for full radio transmissions. (2+2 equalled 4).

According to a statement a few days ago by a pilot in the air at that time of Malaysian’s, M, disappearance, all planes were asked to try to contact M. This MUST have been AFTER M had lost contact with Air Traffic Control. This pilot reported that he received a response transmission of mumbling then a buzzing sound. Straits Times. (did 2+2 equal 4 again, maybe).

Could a UFO be large enough to ‘swallow’ a 777. Yes. One race has a 10 mile diameter ship, with 130,000 on board, and is fully self-contained, It travels the Universes and galaxies covering billions of light years in a few minutes. Science fiction or fantasy? Neither Open www.theytfly.com for a sudden awakening.

Am I a nutter off my meds. Nah. Just a Rtd Airline Training Capt. with multiple UFO sightings. In 1973 we carried Govt(?) UFO report forms on board our Super VC10s.

Sometimes 2+2 makes 4, even if you have been brainwashed to believe that there is no 4.

Mar 10, 2014 8:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NightFli wrote:
4 of 5 patent users were on that plane that day of the ‘Freescale Microchip’. The 5th was not on that plane. The 5th being Jacob Rothschild. Once they are not found and the occupants are declared deceased, this would give 1 person 100% of the patent. The Rothschild family also operates the Federal Reserve, and owns almost the entire global banking system except for Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. Isn’t there a war going on in Iran right now?

Mar 14, 2014 10:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.