HP Raises Layoff Numbers by 2,000

Hewlett-PackardHewlett-Packard’s restructuring plan will eliminate 2,000 additional positions beyond the 27,000 jobs that were put on the chopping block in May. HP now plans to cut a total of 29,000 positions over the next two years, says the computer maker in a regulatory filing Monday.

Since its May announcement, the company has already cut 3,800 of the targeted positions. A third of the projected cuts were to take place among U.S. workers. There’s no word whether that holds true with the new 2,000 positions.

According to the filing:

On May 23, 2012, HP adopted a multi-year restructuring plan (the “2012 Plan”) designed to simplify business processes, accelerate innovation and deliver better results for customers, employees and stockholders. HP estimates that it will eliminate approximately 29,000 positions in connection with the 2012 Plan through fiscal year 2014, with a portion of those employees exiting through the company as part of a voluntary enhanced early retirement (“EER”) program for U.S. employees.

HP had set a goal of 5,000 workers accepting early retirement — and that program reportedly has been more popular than the company expected. At the same time, CEO Meg Whitman recently told IT workers in India that the company would not be cutting jobs there.

The company expects to take charges of $3.3 billion related to the layoffs and early retirements. Though the turnaround is expected to take three to five years, it couldn’t come soon enough. Last month, the company reported its largest quarterly loss in its 73-year history.

The impact of the added layoffs on the company’s ability to hire and retain talent likely will be “small and at the margins,” because the company was struggling with that before, according to Jon Holman, owner of executive recruiting firm The Holman Group.

“HP just isn’t a place people want to work these days.  The culture is broken,” he said.

The best way for employees to protect themselves against layoffs, he said, is to try to move out of under-performing units.

” … Always to try and get yourself into the businesses that are growing within the larger whole, because layoffs tend to happen by business unit.  So if the printer business is going well and the storage business is going badly, get out of the storage business and into the printer business.  …  Plus do good work, of course,” Holman said.

Meanwhile, Whitman has been lining up a new talent team. The new head of HP’s software division, George Kadifa, is known as a “turnaround specialist.” The company has also hired former Microsoft executive Robert Youngjohns to lead its troubled Autonomy unit, which the company acquired last year for $10.3 billion. Autonomy’s co-founder and former CEO Mike Lynch was let go in May, with about 250 Autonomy workers leaving with him.

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