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AMD SA set for expansion, not layoffs

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Contrary to reports of possible staff layoffs at its local office as part of a worldwide cost-cutting exercise, AMD is in fact expanding its operations in the region and has approved additional headcount.

The chip maker announced on Monday that it is to retrench 10% of its 16 800 international workforce, but Imi Mosaheb, country manager of AMD South Africa, says the local region won't be affected.
"We actually have plans to expand the region," Mosaheb says. "I have literally just got back from expansion plan meetings for the whole region in Dubai (AMD's regional headquarters) and we have got the go-ahead to expand our headcount into the Indian Ocean islands."
At present, AMD SA and its 50/15 affiliate only have a total of five full-time staff in the country, so it always seemed highly unlikely that the current layoffs would affect it.
Mosaheb says that headcount in a region is dependent on market growth and, with quarter-on-quarter growth exceeding 30% in the region, this bodes well for future staffing.
In the meantime, he says, the synergy between 50/15 and AMD employees, as well as increased focus on its local channel is proving profitable.
"Our 50/15 project is such an integrated part of the business," Mosaheb says. "As part of our corporate social responsibility programme, they talk with a lot of corporate foundations, the leaders of these companies. And when they do, they often have parallel discussions on the various solutions we can offer for other aspects of their business. It's all very integrated."
As is the case with most vendors in the region, the local channel plays a crucial role in being AMD SA's "feet on the ground".
"We've always been a channel company and we will remain focused on the channel," Mosaheb says. "We've now got Ingram Micro SA and Asbis in place as our master distributors and we regard them as part of our expansion rather than as direct headcount.
"There are numerous programmes we run through our distributors and we will be bringing them up to speed to make them as efficient as possible over the next few months."
Mosaheb is distinctly upbeat about the future of the region for AMD – both in terms of growth, and in terms of headcount.
"As I said, dedicated headcount is justified in a region by growth and expansion needs," he says. "And we've already had the okay for expansion from our regional director."