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Western Digital Layoffs: More Than 300 To Lose Jobs In California

The data storage company reported a net loss of $487 million in its most recent quarter.

Data storage giant Western Digital will lay off more than 300 California-based employees starting this May as part of a global restructuring effort.

The San Jose, Calif.-based firm known for its disk and flash storage drives disclosed last week that 313 employees will be cut from the company, according to three WARN notices filed with the state of California. A WARN notice, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice, requires employers to notify the state when mass layoffs occur.

The layoffs at Western Digital are expected to occur beginning on May 7 and will affect employees at facilities in San Jose, Milpitas and Irvine, according to three separate filing with the state. The cuts will affect positions such as staff engineers, director of finance, director of firmware engineering, senior director of sales operations and vice president of business development and the vice president of talent acquisition.

According to the March 6 filings, 76 employees in San Jose, 114 people in Milpitas and 102 people in Irvine will be affected.

Steve Shattuck, a Western Digital spokesman, said in a statement released to CRN that in response to an “ever-changing industry, [the company] is evaluating and transforming our business to ensure we deliver value to customers and shareholders, and remain competitive as a data technology leader. Appropriately sizing and structuring our organization is one component of our response to an evolving industry.”

Shattuck said that the cuts are part of a “restructuring action affecting employees across various functional groups at several of our locations globally. Employees affected by this action have been notified.”

Shattuck did not specifically indicate how many employees were affected by the cuts around the world. As of June 29, 2018, the company employed a total of approximately 71,600 employees worldwide, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In January, Western Digital reported revenue of $4.2 billion as well as a net loss of $487 million in its most recent quarter, which ended Dec. 28, 2018.

At the time, CEO Steve Milligan said in a statement that “we are taking actions to better align our cost and expense structure to near-term business conditions while continuing to deliver innovative solutions to drive our future success.”

Last August, Western Digital President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Cordano told CRN that “we believe in R&D as a driver of technology and products across the portfolio breadth. And we will continue to invest in HDD, flash, and other things in a very purposeful way.”

Western Digital over the last few years has gone through a change in its business model from a focus on components like hard disks and SDDs to work more with storage systems. This includes the 2017 acquisition of storage system maker Tegile Systems and the 2013 acquisition of Virident Systems.

Over the past 12 months, Western Digital’s stock has sunk 51.74 percent to $49.15 as of Tuesday evening.

Joe Kovar contributed to this story.

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