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March 9, 2021

ON Semiconductor lays off hundreds worldwide, including some in South Portland

gray, industrial plant with ON sign, viewed from across a street Photo / William Hall ON Semiconductor's South Portland manufacturing facility is one of the sites where the company has eliminated jobs in a streamlining effort.

ON Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: ON) on Monday said its newly announced layoffs of 740 workers include employees at the company’s South Portland manufacturing facility, but called the job cuts there “minor.”

ON, which is headquartered in Phoenix and employs 34,000 people worldwide, is eliminating the jobs by June in an effort to streamline operations, according to a filing last Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“The reduction is a company-wide initiative that will streamline operations and allow the company to shift investments into higher-growth product lines,” ON spokeswoman Sarah Rockey told Mainebiz.

She refused to provide the number of workers affected in South Portland, instead saying, “The reduction happened across our global operations. The cuts to the [South Portland] site were minor.”

ON designs and manufactures semiconductor chips, sensors, power management devices and other electronic components at 20 sites, most in the Asia-Pacific region. The company added the South Portland operations in its 2016 acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. for $2.4 billion. At the time, the plant and offices employed about 700.

Rockey would not say exactly how many workers ON currently has in South Portland. The 345,000-square-foot facility, at 333 Western Ave., is the second-smallest of five U.S. plants, and makes a range of integrated circuit products. During the Fairchild acquisition, some industry analysts suggested that the plant's age — it was built in 1962 — might lead ON to close the facility.

ON said in its SEC filing that the layoffs will result in as much as $62 million in severance payments and other termination costs, and that it will "continue to evaluate measures to realign its investments."

The company last month reported revenue in 2020 of $5.2 billion, down 4.8% from $5.5 billion during 2019. In its annual report, ON attributed much of the decrease to the pandemic’s effect on the global supply chain and on demand for end products, especially in the automotive market, which generated 32% of revenue.

After opening Thursday at $39.76, the share price of ON fell to as low as $35.56 by Friday morning. In mid-morning trading Tuesday, ON was trading at $37.65, up 4.83%. From a 52-week low of $8.17 a share in March 2020, shares of ON have climbed steadily, peaking at $42.38 earlier this month. 

The company has a market capitalization of $16 billion.

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