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Updated: June 17, 2024

Semiconductor maker ON is leaving Maine and laying off dozens as part of sweeping reorg

Photo / William Hall Onsemi is closing its offices at 82 Running Hill Road in South Portland, near the Maine Mall.

ON Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: ON), which two years ago sold off its South Portland factory, is now shuttering the company's only outpost left in Maine and laying off 53 Maine employees.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company's offices at 82 Running Hill Road, South Portland, will close "as part of our ongoing efforts to optimize our global footprint," said Stefanie Cuene, ON senior public relations manager, in a statement to Mainebiz.

"The closure of the South Portland, Maine, operations is a difficult step to enhance the company’s ability to innovate and collaborate, and to increase organizational efficiencies to position the company for future growth."

The shutdown is part of a company-wide downsizing in which ON will consolidate nine worksites, reduce its workforce by 1,000, and reassign another 300 employees to new jobs, according to a regulatory filing Thursday evening. ON expects to complete the changes in 2025. The company now employs about 33,000 people worldwide.

Cuene would not disclose how many Maine employees will lose their jobs, but a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the state on Monday indicated the number was 53.

"Where possible, we have offered impacted employees the opportunity to relocate and are working closely with those impacted to provide resources and support in pursuing their next opportunity," Cuene added.

ON is an anchor tenant at the Running Hill Road office building, which displays the company's name prominently at the entrance.

Deja vu all over again

Little more than a mile away from the offices, in the plant at 333 Western Ave., ON made semiconductor wafers and other electronic components for six years.

ON, which today styles its name as onsemi, took over the facility in 2016 as part of the company's acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. for $2.4 billion. At the time, the plant employed roughly 700 people.

But ON, whose largest market is the automotive industry, has seen its business soften in recent years — partly due to slower-than-expected sales of electric vehicles.

In 2021, the company laid off 740 workers, including an unspecified number in South Portland. The next year, ON sold the plant to Diodes Inc. (Nasdaq: DIOD), of Plano, Texas, for an undisclosed price. Three other plants were also sold.

The 345,000-square-foot South Portland facility was among ON's smallest plants. During the Fairchild acquisition, some industry analysts suggested that the age of the factory — it was built in 1962 — might lead ON to close it.

Shares of ON, which were trading at around $75 late Thursday afternoon, fell below $72 on Friday and on Monday morning were selling for roughly $70. The company currently has a market capitalization of just under $31 billion.

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Sascha Deri
June 21, 2024

Sad to see one a bastion of Maine high-tech industries fully exit the state. Our state needs to lean harder on attracting a diverse set of high-tech industries and not just circle our financial reinforcements on just the ones we have done well since the 1800's.

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