Intel Capital Cuts Coming

Corporate employees are rarely fired. They get laid off, become redundant or accept voluntary (wink, wink) buyouts. For Intel Capital, the operative euphemism is “efficiency.” Want me to use it in a sentence? Ok, the “efficiency program” at Intel Capital likely will result in between 15% and 20% of its investment directors being fired. 

This move is part of a larger restructuring at parent company Intel Corp., whose leading market share has been slowly eroded by pesky rival AMD. As CEO Paul Otellini said at the time: “No stone will remain unturned. We will restructure, resize and repurpose Intel for the future.” 

This space and others questioned whether or not Intel Capital would be among those upturned stones. The best argument against layoffs was that the group already had shrunk – via attrition – from 300 employees in 2001 to just 200 employees today. Conversely, the best argument for layoffs was that new Intel Capital CEO Arvind Sodhani had erased a job title distinction between “strategic investors” (i.e. deal sourcing/due diligence) and “treasurers” (i.e. term sheets, financial matters). This move meant that many Intel Capital employees had to be adept at both jobs, and there were clearly some who weren’t. When I asked Sodhani back in May about the Intel Corp. reorganization, he only would say that Intel Capital would be neither spun off nor shut down. 

Intel Capital spokesman Kent Cook confirmed the “efficiency program,” and said that the group hierarchy currently is developing a skills assessment that will be used to evaluate current employees. “The skills assessment involves what capabilities we want the investment directors to possess, and if the people we have properly fit the bill,” Cook said. “For certain people, it may just mean additional training.” 

Expect Intel Capital to be more efficient by year-end (credit to Paul Kedrosky for original scoop).