SoftBank sacked 700 British arms workers out of 1,700 it employed

Arm lost 40% of its workforce gained in the UK during the SoftBank years. The Japanese conglomerate kept its promise to double the number of jobs in the UK, but has since cut hundreds of jobs, says the Financial Times, which reports this information.

18% reduction in the workforce

SoftBank bought Arm in 2016 for $32 billion. At the time, the Japanese conglomerate pledged to double its UK workforce, which then stood at 1,770, over the next five years. In September last year, the number of employees in the UK peaked with 3,500 people for a total number of 6,950 employees. The promise seemed to be kept.

But the company has since reduced its workforce by 18% worldwide. The United Kingdom is proportionally the most affected country. Employment reductions were implemented to refocus the company on its core business. These reductions have been exacerbated by the departure of British staff who are concerned about the future of the company. There are now 2,800 employees in the UK: a loss of 700 since last September. The workforce in the rest of the world fell by 550, the FT reports.

The acquisition fell through

Faced with too many obstacles, Nvidia abandoned the $40 billion acquisition of Arm. Since then, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has stated that he wants to IPO Arm for a valuation set at more than $50 billion. But IPOs have slowed sharply on both sides of the Atlantic in the face of poor economic conditions. And employee departures can also chill investors, for whom these types of signals weaken a company.

Arm tries to reassure by linking these departures to the setback of the Covid-19 pandemic and the large resignation. The company assures that it will continue to invest to recruit engineers: 525 positions are open, including the world, including 373 in the UK. However, the FT adds that only 166 positions in the UK are currently advertised on the company’s website. And Imagine Technologies, Arm’s biggest competitor in the UK, has opened an office in Cambridge to make it easier to recruit disgruntled staff.

At the same time, the British government is seeking to pressure SoftBank into a dual listing of Arm in New York and London. Government officials and technology experts have expressed concern that one of the country’s biggest success stories is leaving the UK for the US. SoftBank seems to be looking for the best strategy. The head of the Japanese conglomerate recently met with Samsung to discuss a strategic alliance for Arm. This is undoubtedly aimed at a consortium bringing together rivals taking a strong stake in Arm to ensure its neutrality.

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