(Adds details on plan for Costa Rica, background; adds share
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, April 8 Chipmaker Intel,
struggling with a shrinking personal computer market, is
shutting its assembly and test operation in Costa Rica and
eliminating 1,500 jobs, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The closure of the site, which is a significant contributor
to Costa Rica's exports, falls within a larger plan announced by
the chipmaker earlier this year to cut spending as it attempts
to grow beyond PCs into the mobile market.
"It's being closed and consolidated into our other
operations throughout the world," spokesman Chuck Mulloy said of
the assembly and test operations in Costa Rica.
During the next two quarters, Intel will move assembly and
testing from its site in Heredia, where it has been present
since 1997, to existing sites in China, Malaysia and Vietnam,
Still, Intel will continue to have over 1,000 engineers
finance and human resources employees in Costa Rica and do some
research and development there. The chipmaker expects to add
another 200 "high-value positions" in Costa Rica later this
year, Mulloy said.
Intel dominates the PC chip industry, but it has been slow
to adapt its processors for smartphones and tablets, markets now
dominated by rivals like Qualcomm Inc and Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd.
The cuts in Costa Rica are consistent with Intel's
announcement in January that it would reduce its global
workforce of 107,000 employees by about 5 percent this year,
Also in January, Intel said a newly built factory in
Chandler, Arizona, originally slated as a $5 billion project
that in late 2013 would start producing Intel's most advanced
chips, would remain closed for the foreseeable future while
other factories at the same site are upgraded.
Shares of Intel closed 1.60 percent higher at $26.91 on
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Leslie Adler and Diane