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 June 1, 1997

Gutting of Comlinear makes little sense

National Semiconductor Corp. deserves a healthy dose of disdain for its decision to slash 75 jobs from its Fort Collins-based Comlinear Corp. subsidiary.

The decision means an end to Comlinear’s assembly and testing of integrated circuits locally, leaving only 30 or so workers developing new circuits and greatly diminishing National Semiconductor’s local presence.

Comlinear began in Loveland in 1980, moved to Fort Collins in 1985 and was acquired in 1994 by Santa Clara, Calif.-based National Semiconductor, one of the nation’s largest semiconductor firms.

The company announced in mid-May plans to cut 75 jobs over the next year as it consolidates manufacturing at other National Semiconductor locations in the United States and Asia. A company official did hold out hope of adding jobs at the Comlinear Design Center, which will continue to develop the new circuits.

National Semiconductor’s decision distressed Bob Vinton, Comlinear’s chief operating officer, who resigned in the wake of the decision to cut manufacturing jobs here.

It’s understandable when a company consolidates jobs to remain competitive. But what angers us is when a company comes into a market, buys up a strong local operation, and then guts it or shuts it down within a relatively short time.

We’ve seen it before, in other industries. Such buy-then-gut occurrences indicate that either a) the buyer had no real plan for the company to be acquired, b) the buyer failed to properly integrate the acquisition into its corporate structure, c) a company’s history and role within the community bears little consideration, d) small, local acquisitions get short shrift in a megacorporation’s grand scheme, or e) the buyer never should have bought the company in the first place.

Pick and choose which of those you think apply to Comlinear and National Semiconductor.

Companies that come into a community and acquire a local company should meet a higher standard when it comes to cutbacks at those acquisitions.

Otherwise, it leaves a bad taste in a lot of mouths.

National Semiconductor Corp. deserves a healthy dose of disdain for its decision to slash 75 jobs from its Fort Collins-based Comlinear Corp. subsidiary.

The decision means an end to Comlinear’s assembly and testing of integrated circuits locally, leaving only 30 or so workers developing new circuits and greatly diminishing National Semiconductor’s local presence.

Comlinear began in Loveland in 1980, moved to Fort Collins in 1985 and was acquired in 1994 by Santa Clara, Calif.-based National Semiconductor, one of the nation’s largest semiconductor firms.

The company announced in mid-May plans to cut 75 jobs over the next year as it consolidates manufacturing at…

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