HP job cuts could soar as high as 50,000

23 May 2014

Job losses at computing giant HP are set to soar as high as 50,000 as the company revealed plans to cut up to an additional 16,000 jobs after reporting disappointing second-quarter financial results.

HP had previously estimated that 34,000 positions would need to go but now believes between 11,000 and 16,000 more jobs need to be cut.

The news is the latest in a saga that goes back four years involving CEO musical chairs, a botched software acquisition and indecision as whether to leave the troubled PC business or not.

“In May 2012, HP adopted a multi-year restructuring plan designed to simplify business processes, accelerate innovation, lower costs and deliver better results,” HP said.

“HP previously estimated that 34,000 positions would be eliminated in connection with the plan. As HP continues to re-engineer the workforce to be more competitive and meet its objectives, the previously estimated number of eliminated positions will increase by between 11,000 to 16,000.”

Second-quarter revenue of US$27.3bn marked a decrease of 1pc on the previous year.

The company managed to return US$1.1bn to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases even though net earnings were flat at US$1.7bn.

“With the first half of our fiscal year completed, I’m pleased to report that HP’s turnaround remains on track,” said Meg Whitman, president and chief executive officer, HP.

“With each passing quarter, HP is improving its systems, structures and core go-to-market capabilities. We’re gradually shaping HP into a more nimble, lower-cost, more customer- and partner-centric company that can successfully compete across a rapidly changing IT landscape.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years