Creative shrinks workforce by half

January 5, 2009 // 9:08 a.m.

Tags: #cpu #creative #credit-crunch #layoffs #processor #soundblaster #soundcard #stemcell-computing #workforce #xfi #x-fi #zii

The slowing global economy has hit another tech company with the news that Creative had cut its worldwide workforce by half over the last financial year.

According to Engadget, quoting figures from Hurriyet Daily News, the company has lost 47 percent – that's 2,700 jobs – of its workforce over the last financial year.

The figures have been obtained from a report filed to Singapore's financial stock exchange at the end of last year. In the report, the company stated that its target markets were “highly competitive,” and that “many of Creative's current and potential competitors have substantial greater financial, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and other resources.

In response to the filing, the company's shares on the Singapore stock market dropped 2.3 percent – which at least shows some confidence on the part of investors, as many had predicted a much greater drop. Overall, the company's stock price fell 32 percent through the 2008 financial year – which beat market expectations, with the benchmark index dropping 49 percent in the same period.

Many are hoping that the company will be able to get back on its feet with a slimmer workforce – I certainly remember the days when Creative were the name in soundcards and everyone else had to settle for selling SoundBlaster Compatibles. With its MP3 division suffering mightily against the competition – mostly in the form of Apple's all-conquering iPod – it's going to take something special for the company to regain its market-leading place once more.

Perhaps the company's hush-hush new product – the Zii 'stemcell computing' processor – will be what the company needs to get back on top. With the device due to be unveiled at CES this year, we won't have much of a wait to see if it is the miracle that Creative so sorely needs right now.

Do you believe that the 'Zii' might get the company back in the black, or do you have a better suggestion for how the Creative can fight the global spending slowdown? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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