Top Mobile Chipmaker Qualcomm Laying Off 600 Employees

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf will have plenty of opportunities to practice his Donald Trump impersonation as the company gets ready to hand out approximately 600 pink slips. The layoffs come as Qualcomm faces regulatory investigations into its business practices in three different territories -- China, European Union, and the United States -- though the world's biggest mobile chip player insists the two are not related.

Instead, Qualcomm is laying off workers in an attempt to restructure its business. The company also plans to shuffle its teams and projects, as its outlook for 2015 wasn't anything to get too excited about. For a company that specializes in mobile hardware, one of the hottest markets right now, a soft outlook is not a good thing.

Steve Mollenkopf
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf is trying to reinvigorate the company's mobile chip business.

"We regularly evaluate our businesses to determine where efficiencies can be obtained and priorities addressed," a spokesperson told CNET. "On occasion, that requires we adjust the size or skill mix of our work teams in order to shrink or eliminate some projects and start and grow new projects."

Qualcomm is currently home to around 31,300 employees, which includes full-time, part-time, and temporary workers. Some 300 of those will be let go in California where Qualcomm has several offices, including its headquarters, while the other half of the layoffs will affect Qualcomm's international workforce.

The biggest effect on Qualcomm's bottom line appears to be the regulatory investigation in China, which is looking into whether or not the company has run afoul of anti-monopoly laws. That's been going on for over a year, and according to Qualcomm, it's prompted numerous licensees to under-report sales, which in turn has negatively affected the company's royalty revenue.