Loss of employees on Malaysia flight a blow, U.S. chipmaker says

Twenty employees from Texas-based Freescale Semiconductor were on a business trip on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. Credit: Freescale.com
Twenty employees from Texas-based Freescale Semiconductor were on a business trip on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. Credit: Freescale.com

Employees of Freescale Semiconductor who were on a Malaysia Airlines flight presumed to have crashed were doing sophisticated work at the U.S. chipmaker, a company spokesman said on Sunday.

The 20 Freescale employees, among 239 people on flight MH370, were mostly engineers and other experts working to make the company’s chip facilities in Tianjin, China, and Kuala Lumpur more efficient, said Mitch Haws, vice president, global communications and investor relations.

“These were people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people,” Haws said. “It’s definitely a loss for the company.”

None of Austin, Texas-based Freescale’s most senior executives were on board the Boeing Co 777-200ER airliner that vanished from radar screens about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on Saturday.

The employees who were on board, 12 from Malaysia and eight from China, came from a range of disciplines and they were part of a broad push by Chief Executive Officer Gregg Lowe to make Freescale more efficient and cost effective, Haws said.

Top-quality engineers are hard to come by for chipmakers and other technology companies, and losing them can have a major impact on business, regardless of their seniority.

While the employees on the flight account for less than 1 percent of Freescale’s global workforce of 16,800 people, they were working toward the same goals and their loss will reverberate throughout Freescale, Haws said.

They had been streamlining facilities in Tianjin and Kuala Lumpur that Freescale uses for testing and packaging microchips used in automobiles, consumer products, telecommunications infrastructure and industrial equipment.

On Sunday, Freescale was organizing transportation and accommodation for the 20 staff members’ families, as well as providing grief counseling, Haws said.

One of the chipmaker’s long-time competitors, Texas Instruments, tweeted on Saturday: “We extend our condolences to the families and coworkers of the @Freescale employees aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.”

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."