Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced’s bankruptcy protection filing was followed yesterday by a plan for mass layoffs at its Mesa facility, which, by the way, was bought and leased by Apple (via AZCentral).
To “stop the bleeding,” GT Advanced plans to permanently eliminate 727 jobs at the plant, a public notification sent to Mesa City Council members stated. According to this plan, signed by Linda Luman, vice president of HR, GTA will lay off 524 production workers, 108 technical staff, 70 management staff, and 25 administrative employees.
As it turns out, the mass layoff goes into effect starting next Tuesday, and employees will be “separated from employment” beginning December 15.
Apple was surprised by GT Advanced’s bankruptcy filing, which was announced on Monday, October 6. Its first reaction was to do what it could to preserve the jobs of these workers. Unfortunately, it seems that Apple’s efforts weren’t enough, at least for now.
Information about the root cause of the bankruptcy is sparse. What we have learned so far is that problems started as early as February. The secrecy agreement between the two parties, and investors’ belief in the release of a sapphire iPhone, had been pushing the company’s stock price up — which triggered key GT Advanced execs to elaborate a plan in which they managed to cash in millions by selling their GTAT stock.