While the latest news regarding Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm is odd, it is also understandable.
On Tuesday, The Register revealed that Arm had instituted an engineering hiring freeze in its IP Products Group and that hiring in other areas of the business including marketing, finance and HR had slowed to a crawl.
“The primary reason for this is that due to the accelerated hiring in the past six months, we are well ahead of our planned headcount. The market response has been fantastic, the selection process rigorous, and we have hired some exceptional people into Arm from across the globe,” reads an FAQ sent to Arm staff.
This freeze on new hires appears to be in effect until the Nvidia acquisition is complete. That could only happen in April 2022 but the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is investigating the acquisition and it could stop that acquisition Nvidia its tracks.
The hiring freeze means that none of Arms offices globally can make new hires, even if employees leave.
But worse than the freeze is the cancellation of a so-called FlexPot scheme. The scheme is not a bonus but rather an allowance that staff could make use of when necessary.
This scheme gave staff access to additional funds to pay for healthcare, financial wellbeing or education.
The Register reports that this scheme amounted to 10 percent of the take home pay for graduates and lower-paid staff which is a massive financial blow to those folks.
What is concerning is that these employees don’t know if this scheme will return when the acquisition is complete. Hell, employees don’t know if they’ll still have a job once Nvidia takes the reigns.
Worse still, staff were told about the the FlexPot’s fate, after they were told how the company had exceeded its goals. Bobby Kotick would be proud.
While we understand that there will inevitably be friction during an acquisition, this just seems like a lot more friction than is needed.
It also seems a bit pre-emptive given the investigation mentioned earlier but, of course, one can’t wait around for governments to make moves otherwise we’d all spend our lives waiting.
This just goes to show that acquisitions are never as easy as making an announcement and publishing a glowing press release featuring statements from the CEOs.