Applied Materials Inc., the leading maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, will cut its global work force by 2,000 positions, the company said Thursday. 

The 10 percent reduction is the latest move as applied Materials struggles with declining demand for equipment that makes the chips that run computers. It previously cut executive and employee salaries, implemented an early retirement program and instituted mandatory shutdown days. 

``Unfortunately, the length and severity of the downturn and lack of near-term visibility have made it necessary for us to take additional action to align our operations with the current level of business,'' said James C. Morgan, the company's chief executive. 

The company will cut 700 jobs in Silicon Valley and another 500 in Austin. The remainder will be eliminated at other locations worldwide by Oct. 28, the end of the current quarter. 

Employees will be notified beginning Thursday, the company said. 

Morgan did not revise any financial guidance and said the company believes in the long-term future of the semiconductor industry. 

Shares of Applied Materials were down $1.07 to $30.05 in midday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.