Micron to lay off 10 percent

The Idaho-based memory chipmaker announces plans to cut about 10 percent of its staff amid a sluggish tech market.

Memory chipmaker Micron Technology announced plans Tuesday to cut approximately 10 percent of its staff amid a sluggish technology market.

The move marks the first widespread layoffs at the company in more than a decade. Micron was launched in 1978 and has become one of the two largest memory makers in the world, along with Korea's Samsung. In 1985, Micron cut its staff total in half while facing intense price competition from Japanese rivals.

In a statement, Boise, Idaho-based Micron said it is looking to lower its costs while continuing to invest in next-generation 0.11-micron manufacturing technology. Micron has about 18,500 workers, according to spokesman Phil Martin.

The company is still finalizing which positions will be cut, but it expects to notify workers within the next seven days, Martin said. The majority of the company's employees--some 11,000--are based in Idaho.

Micron is also re-evaluating its product line with an eye toward focusing on products that have the potential to ship in the highest volumes, Martin said.

"We remain committed to the long-term growth opportunities for our company and our industry" CEO Steve Appleton said in a statement. "These actions will lower our cost structure (and) allow us to better focus our product portfolio and continue to invest in new technology."