ASML to Boost Headcount by Thousands to Overcome Chip-Supply Crunch
(Bloomberg) -- ASML Holding NV aims to overcome a capacity bottleneck created by a global chip shortage by hiring thousands of new workers.
Europe’s largest semiconductor equipment maker plans to boost its headcount to 35,000 by the end of this year from 31,500 currently, Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said in an interview on Wednesday. The company added more than 4,000 net new employees in 2021, and headcount will be almost 30% higher by the end of 2022 from the end of 2020, he said.
ASML’s net sales forecast for the first quarter fell short of analyst expectations due to its continued decision to delay testing its machines in a bid to speed up deliveries, highlighting the unintended consequences of the chip supply chain crisis.
With the demand 40% to 50% above its maximum capacity, it will take two to three years to get a balance between supply and demand, Wennink said, adding that there could even be “some kind of an oversupply” in the industry by 2025 or 2026 with new factories being built.
ASML has planned to drive deeper into China through sales of its extreme ultraviolet lithography systems, but the Dutch government has not yet granted its request for an export license. Officials are sitting on the request amid trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. Wennink said he’s wary of further restrictions on sales abroad.
“I am concerned about any initiative from any government to restrict shipping manufacturing equipment,” he said. “We’re in dire shortage of mature semiconductor technology and we need that mature manufacturing capacity.”
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