Arm stops hiring and cancels all employee 'wellbeing' allowances until Nvidia finalizes acquisition in 2022
Nvidia’s Arm acquisition for $40 billion is still pending, as the British government has recently started a scrutiny to determine if the whole deal poses any national security threats. Should everything turn out well for Nvidia, the acquisition is expected to be finalized by April 2022. However, amid all the national security and monopoly concerns, Arm itself appears to already be applying some internal measures dictated by Nvidia, as reported by online publication The Register. Most notably, Arm just froze all hiring processes and cancelled all employee “wellbeing” allowances.
According to The Register, Arm’s hiring freezes affect the chip design wing with the IP Product Group, but it appears that other departments such as sales, marketing, finance, HR and operations are affected by this measure. The majority of graduate positions and internships have been filled, and any open roles have been closed. Backfill requests will also be turned down, while contractors and fixed-term contract work are out of the question, as well. Arm’s higher-ups motivated this with the following statement:
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.
We are pleased to welcome these new hires from early careers through to experienced business leaders. However, we now need to take this action to ensure we are within the cost targets for the business.
We expect this will last until the Nvidia deal closes, which we currently anticipate will be in April 2022.
The “wellbeing” allowance, which is internally known as the FlexPot scheme, is essentially an annual perk introduced when the company was acquired by Softbank back in 2016, and amounts to £4,500 for the UK employees or $8,500 for the US employees. This was particularly useful during the pandemic and was supposed to continue throughout 2021. Despite Arm exceeding its goals with $1.98 billion annual revenue and $312 million losses triggered by Nvidia’s proposed acquisition deal, the FlexPot perk is now cancelled, but could return next year depending on how the Nvidia acquisition turns out.
On a positive note, The Register notes that, during the pandemic, Arm increased healthcare benefits for all employees, especially those with families in India.