TI: RFID Customers Should Expect ‘Business as Usual’

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The head of Texas Instruments' RFID operations is leaving the company as part of the 3,400 job cuts announced this week. TI said it will continue to support its RFID customers, product lines and distribution channels.

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This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 29, 2009—On Monday Texas Instruments announced it would reduce its workforce by 3,400 employees through layoffs and voluntary departures. Soon after, rumors emerged that TI's RFID operations were especially hard hit. RFID Update spoke with Texas Instruments communications manager Ellen Zeidler to set the record straight.

"TI's message to our RFID customers is that it will be 'business as usual.' The RFID business is affected by the job cuts, but the business will continue," Zeidler told RFID Update.

However, Julie England, who headed TI's RFID business, is leaving the company. She is taking early retirement and is one of 1,600 employees TI expects to leave voluntarily. The company plans to lay off 1,800 others, for a total workforce reduction of 12 percent.

Norbert Ascha, who is based in Germany and previously oversaw TI's automotive RFID business, will assume responsibility for overall RFID operations. RFID product support and development will be consolidated into other portions of the company. RFID sales and distribution channels will not be fundamentally changed as a result of the workforce reduction.

"The company decided to focus its energies on its core," Zeidler said. "The RFID business will continue to support our existing product lines. However, there will be no more investment in RFID development in areas where we do not have customers, for example electronic passports."

TI has sold more than 500,000 RFID inlays, tags and readers in its history and claims to be the world's largest RFID provider.

TI announced the job cuts in its 2008 earnings release in which it reported a profit of $2.4 billion for fiscal year 2008 on revenues of $12.5 billion. Profits were down 30 percent and revenue was down 10 percent from 2007.

TI does not break out financial results for its RFID business. RFID results are grouped in a category TI calls "other," which also includes calculators, RISC microprocessors, DLP products and royalties received. The category contributed approximately 21.0 percent of TI's revenue and 31.7 percent of its profits in fiscal 2008.