Computer and software company expected to cut 8% of workforce as consumers ditch bulky PCs in favour of tablets
Hewlett-Packard is planning to cut as many as 30,000 jobs, in one of the world’s biggest redundancy programmes in recent years.
The computer and software company, which employs 324,600 people worldwide, is expected to announce it is cutting 8% of its workforce when it updates shareholders on its latest financial results on Wednesday.
The cuts come as HP’s new chief executive, Meg Whitman, gets to grips with the company’s recent fall from grace as consumers ditch bulky PCs in favour of tablets, such as Apple’s iPad. Analyst say it has also failed to keep pace with the switch to cloud computing.
HP has suffered from a lack of clear leadership, with two chief executives forced out in the last two years.
Whitman, a former boss of eBay, took over from Leo Apotheker, who oversaw a 40% fall in the company’s share price during his one-year tenure.
Apotheker was poached from German software giant SAP in September 2010 after Mark Hurd was forced to resign as chief executive following allegations of sexual harassment.
HP declined to comment on the job cuts and refused to say how many staff it employs in the UK and whether or not they would be affected. Two years ago unions accused the firm of “butchery” when it slashed 1,300 jobs in Britain. The cutbacks followed its merger with IT services rival EDS and reduced its workforce here to 6,000.
Last year, HP paid $10bn (£6.3bn) for Autonomy, Britain’s biggest software company, to tap demand from companies in need of programs that can sort and organise the increasing amount of data they produce.
HP was founded by electrical engineering graduates Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in Packard’s garage in Palo Alto, California, in 1939. Hewlett and Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett. Hewlett won the toss.
The cuts would rank among the 10 biggest redundancy programmes by a US company in the past decade. Last September, Bank of America announced 30,000 job cuts, and in the early 1990s IBM cut 60,000.