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Published on : Mar 10, 2014

American chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor has said that 20 of its employees were travelling in the Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared off the coast of Vietnam. A company spokesperson said that these employees were engaged in sophisticated work at Freescale. The airplane had 239 passengers on board MH370. While most of these engineers from Freescale were engineers, the others were technical experts. The company said that these employees were working to make the chip facilities in China and Kuala Lumpur more efficient. 

A senior official from the company said that the employees that were on board were very important to its growth. The loss of these personnel is a serious loss to the company. 

However, none of the most senior executives of the company were on board the ill-fated flight, said spokespersons from Freescale. The airliner has been making headlines after it vanished from the radar screens in just over an hour of taking off from Kuala Lumpur. The airliner was bound for Beijing.

Of the total Freescale employees on board, nearly 12 were from Malaysia and eight were from China. These employees had been hired by the company as part of Freescale CEO Gregg Lowe’s plans to make the company more cost effective and efficient.

In the context of chipmakers, finding high-quality engineers is often a difficult and time consuming process. While these engineers were not among the most senior ones, their loss is nevertheless likely to have an impact on operations. Freescale has a global workforce of over 16,800. 

The engineers that the company has lost were engaged in projects that involved microchips that are used in consumer products, automobiles, infrastructure and telecom sectors.