Spansion

  www.spansion.com
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Set expectations for a short-term career

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Sunnyvale, CA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA

Pros

Pay scale competitive and management treats employees fairly and with respect. Offers a challenging and face paced work environment.

Cons

As a "Memory Semiconductor" company, cash and profits will always be a struggle. Set Spansion career expectations for short-term employment. Keep resume updated and active. Poor CEO/management decisions put company in bankruptcy. Many empolyee's upset about short notice layoff in early 2009, but this is part of working for a company struggling to make a profit in a very tough market environment.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Avoid double standards with VP & Executives versus the rank and file. During the 2008/09 furlough days (and paycuts) there was a clear double standard as VP's were exempt from the paycut. Rank and file definately felt slighted and rightfully so.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

Other reviews for Spansion

  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Once great company battered by tough industry, dismal economy, weak leadership, and unassertive negotiators.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    Pros

    I loved the people I worked with at Spansion. They tended to be very bright and hard working problem solvers. Spansion permitted its employees to take calculated risks within the manufacturing environment. For instance, we were permitted to continuously refine our processes, introduce new consumables, and collaborate with vendors. Had its business model not been horribly flawed I would have liked to work there my entire life.

    Cons

    Spansion's economic model was flawed. For a very long time, AMD and Intel were locked into a price war in flash memory that caused both companies to sell below cost year after year. For Intel, this was a calculated, logical approach. 90% of its revenue came from the highly profitable CPU segment and only 10% from Flash. AMD was split 50/50. By creating severe pricing problems in the NOR flash market, Intel could hamper AMD's growth. When AMD jettisoned the flash business as its own company, Spansion - that was an important step to reducing excessive competitive rivalry. For several years, Spansion operated independently losing $75 to $150 M. Eventually Intel management tired of trying to destroy Spansion and destroying enormous value for its shareholders. I had hoped that when Intel and ST Microelectronics finally spun off and merged their NOR businesses (Numonyx) that there would be finally much needed peace and reasonable pricing. Yet this never came to fruition. Neither company's leadership made any moves to wave the white flag and so both companies continue to suffer. To Intel's credit, many years ago the company attempted to raise all flash prices by 15%. To AMD's discredit, they maintained their artificially low prices. Had I been running the company, I would have thanked Intel by raising our flash prices by 17 or 18% to make the NOR industry more attractive.

    Another major factor in Spansion's decline was the NAND flash glut. I read some iSuppli reports indicating that NAND coupled with DRAM could achieve similar performance to NOR at lower cost. iSuppli predicted that NOR would continue to lose market share for mobile phone to NAND. The mobile phone manufacturers constantly put pressure on NOR providers to lower costs. I can't understand how sales would tolerate reservation pricing 15% below cost but they seemed to do it year after year. Another report I read indicated software was a major barrier to entry for NAND. Unfortunately, I never had access to the upper echelons of sales and strategy at Spansion - I would have loved to understand the rationale for their business thinking. In the end, I believe Spansion and Numonyx have both capitulated declaring they don't want to supply mobile phone makers anymore than demanding they pay a reasonable price for these chips is mind-blowing. That is an amazing declaration! To chose to simply refuse business rather than first saying, "Hey, how about you pay cost plus some profit for these parts! Considering I've been subsidizing your profit margin by selling below my total production costs for 5 to 10 years - YOU OWE ME!"

    I believe the new Spansion under Kispert's leadership has made the tough, yet inevitable decisions that Management should have made many years ago. Spansion could not afford the high fixed costs of operating a R&D facility in Silicon Valley. The plan to build a tiny 300 mm factory in Japan was a total blunder. If I had been CEO, I would offered a relocation package for the R&D folks to move to Austin and I would have concentrated all production (and only profitable production there). The most dedicated could have left over-priced and bankrupt California, sold their over-priced homes in the central San Jose area, and lived like kings and queens in the low-cost, highly desirable Austin area. All effort should have been focused on exploiting the talent within FAB25 and coming up with creative solutions to boost capacity by eliminating bottlenecks in the factory. The management now has pretty much done what should have been done years ago except now they have eliminated a lot of good engineers and destroyed morale and wiped out $1.2 B in investor cash and confidence. Year after year Spansion was loved by its suppliers - it has received award after award for best supplier including perhaps ironically even several awards from Samsung's mobile phone division which one might assume would naturally favor its own internal semiconductor division. Spansion created considerable value for its customers yet continuously failed to capture that value in profits. I would have made whatever legally permitted gestures to Intel/ST Microelectronics/Numonyx to diffuse the price war and get mobile phone pricing back to reasonable levels. Market share is meaningless if it is achieved unprofitably.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rebuild Austin manufacturing. Hire some better negotiators. Get back in the mobile phone business as long as you can negotiate proper pricing (i.e. full cost of chips plus profit). Build chips that can be customized through software rather than 10's of different hardware designs. Require upfront payment for specialty chip design work. Seek out new business opportunities such as biomedical and environmentally sensor chips. Offer a foundry service for the numerous semiconductor startups in Austin offering quicker development turns and tight collaboration. Reinvigorate the EcoRAM initiative based on customer feedback. Most importantly treat your former employees and current ones with the respect they deserve - cutting 3,000 jobs with no severance was obscene. SVTC looks like it is pioneering some interesting new markets - perhaps Spansion could bring particular profitable business in using its very low cost per wafer manufacturing cost. Continue to invest in BIST and other cost savings techniques for packaging and electrical test.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stay Away

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff

    Pros

    There are some very high quality individuals that work here. Please be kind to them when they inevitably come looking for that next job. Also, it is a paycheck in an otherwise poor economy, but as far as management goes, they are as Morally Bankrupt as they are Economically Bankrupt (Chapter 11).

    Cons

    Do not come to work here!

    The Company will say anything to get you to come, when it hires. When they don't deliver it will be "Well, things change". They don't pay out their bonuses, and they will probably give you a paycut after a while. Everyone received a 5% pay cut. No communication on if its permanent or not. Executives kept full pay, as they bleed the company dry.

    Inherently unstable, may not be here in a year. The business model here is still broken, I believe the are mortgaging their future to live for the day. At least they provide jobs during a poor economy, too bad there is not a real future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop running a political shop, and start focusing on real measurable productivity. Reward those that put up, remove those that don't. You don't have enough free cash/energy to continue to tolerate the deadwood that still fills the halls.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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