'Independence Days' all quiet at Adobe Systems all week
Silicon Valley 'ghost town' says newspaper

2 July 2002

By Kurt Foss, Planet PDF Editor

Some 1,800 Adobe Systems employees have been granted non-optional independence from their normal work routines for the July 4 (U.S.) Independence day holiday week, as the company repeats the cost-saving measure it instituted last summer. Adobe is one of a number of the area's major technology companies that are closing for the full week, prompting the San Francisco Chronicle to dub parts of the Silicon Valley region -- more typically known for its frenetic work pace and lifestyle -- a temporary "ghost town" with around 25,000 workers in total impacted by the various corporate actions favoring inaction.

According to the newspaper, "the companies hope to save a few million dollars by turning off the lights, closing cafeterias and reducing the number of contract workers such as security guards." In addition, they "expect to save money by eating into employee vacation time, considered a debt on most corporate balance sheets."

The Chronicle's article "Ailing tech firms giving employees the week off" quotes an Adobe spokesperson as saying the San Jose-based company expects to save $4 million due to the required break. At most companies, employees have the option of taking vacation time off with, or without, pay for four days; Thursday, July 4 is a national (paid) holiday.

"The company closures come as the technology industry tries to survive a dramatic reversal of its fortunes," says the Chronicle. "The frenzied growth of the past few years has recently degenerated into an array of survival measures like job cuts and travel bans."

In June, Adobe reported comparatively underwhelming Acrobat sales for the just-ended quarter, a significant change from previous quarters when its ePaper product line was setting earnings records. However, its recently released Photoshop 7.0 picked up some of the financial slack during that stretch.

The Good News: Freeways in the area are expected to be less congested.


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