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Transmeta declares war on employment

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Transmeta continues to "streamline" the business, dropping approximately 10,439 pounds of employee.

The chip IP licensing house removed 55 workers Saturday — primarily engineers and those in the company's production support operations. Four management positions were also shaved, consisting of the VP of operations and the VP of VLSI development. Also curbed was VP of human resources and a Transmeta founder and former CEO, David Ditzel (CTO).

It's amazing that Ditzel hung on for so long and even more amazing that the company would can him after such loyal service.

Transmeta now consists of approximately 65 oh-so-nervous employees.

The Register reported in February that in addition to 75 staff removed that month, the company planned to cut an additional 25 to 55 jobs over the following two quarters depending on the status of their relationship with Microsoft went.

With 55 already gone this month, hint: not the best.

Transmeta's fourth quarter '06 report cites disappointments in the marketplace as a major cause of corporate weight-loss. Although the company was able to sign Toshiba into their LongRun2 processor power-saving tech, there were no more takers that year. In addition, Sony has scaled back its demand for engineering services from the company.

Woe also came from lackluster sales in Efficeon microprocessors for Microsoft FlexGo computers. FlexGo PCs are targeted at developing countries as a pay-as-you-go box, much like a pre-paid cellphone. Customers shell-out about half the cost of the computer upfront and must purchase pre-paid cards to get hourly access to their home computer. When the card runs out, the computer stops working until the user buys another card.

Not a huge hit.

Transmeta plans even more axing this year. Lizzie Borden looks on enviously.

"To further streamline our operations under our current business model, we expect to reduce our headcount by 15 to 20 percent during the second quarter of 2007," said Transmeta president Les Crudele, "We believe these actions will result in a better financial position from which Transmeta can execute on its new business model."

At the final bell, Transmeta stock was down 19.3 per cent today. ®

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