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HP Businesses IT

HP to Layoff 15,000 Employees 448

William Robinson writes "ZDNet reports that HP is planning to layoff 15000 employees. IT, sales and services will be among the areas particularly hit, although the sweeping cuts will be felt throughout the company, according to a close source to the company." From the article: "HP is expected to announce the layoffs as early as Monday, but employees are not expected to be immediately notified of their status, the source said, noting such a practice is common in corporate America. More high-level discussions on the layoffs will occur late next week and employees may get a greater sense of their specific status sometime thereafter."
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HP to Layoff 15,000 Employees

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  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 )
    "Starting this year, HP will strive to build every one of our consumer devices to respect digital rights."

    I guess the market has spoken, where's Carly now?
    • "Starting this year, HP will strive to build every one of our consumer devices to respect digital rights."
      Man. Now if only HP would respect my rights. I'll take the right to working PSC 2175 drivers for Tiger for one thing, or the right to scanner software that doesn't require an XP admin account. (Hello, vulnerability!) And here's hoping 99% of those layoffs come from the printer-scanner-copier division and the remainder consists of whoever team chose the jet engine for the ZD7000 notebook fan.
      • The printing division is much more profitable for HP than the personal computer business, so I doubt they'll be meddling with the printer people too much. But obviously, cuts and restructuring will hit all departments.
    • I guess the market has spoken, where's Carly now?

      Carly is enjoying her multi-million dollar severance package, complete with outplacement counseling and a company-paid secretary. Somebody has to pay for it, and I'm sure the displaced employees will be happy to do it.

    • HP seems hellbent on self destruction.

      First the utterly pointless merger with Compaq.

      Then the abandonment of developing HP-PA in favor of developing Itanium.

      Then dissolving the Itanium partnership.

      Now, inflicting DRM on all their consumer products. Woo hoo, because it worked so fucking well for Sony that Apple ground them to dust.

      If I were an HP shareholder, I'd be demanding executives heads on platters about now...
  • Severance (Score:5, Funny)

    by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:41PM (#13087920)
    Severance expenses averaged $78,000 per person

    I guess this averages out with management's planned $10 million per executive along with the $1000 normal employee package.

    • Re:Severance (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PygmySurfer ( 442860 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:57PM (#13088008)
      How badly did Carly's golden parachute skew that number though?
      • Re:Severance (Score:5, Informative)

        by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @07:54PM (#13089400)
        $21 million over 15,000 employees = $1400 of the average severance cost was as a direct result of her package. Not an insignificant number, also not a huge number compared to $78,000. Note that expenses associated with laying off an employee aren't limited to severance pay, though (just like costs associated with hiring aren't limited to salary).
  • by MrDyrden ( 833392 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:42PM (#13087925) Homepage
    HP to hire 15,000 new outsourced workers in Bangalore, India

    Remember folks, outsourcing is good for the economy!

    • Remember folks, outsourcing is good for the economy!

      It is for the economy of India.
      And if history is any indication, it is for the US as well.

      • Your statement is wrong.
        We now have 6 billion people competing for a few million jobs. No new major jobs-creating industries are going to come up in the US any more; as soon as the potential appears, the jobs will be sent overseas. Prove your assertion; show me one example to the contrary.

        I can prove my point, however. We've already lost the tech industry and we are now losing the biotech industry. Recent job growth has been heavily weighted toward the low paying service industry.
        • I can prove my point, however. We've already lost the tech industry and we are now losing the biotech industry. Recent job growth has been heavily weighted toward the low paying service industry.

          Back in the day people said the US was doomed because textile jobs moved, then steel making, then auto industry, then electronics manufacturing. The same issues of globalization came up in the late 1700's, and early 1800's with Federalism. States tried to tax each other because they were worried about their own
    • by dada21 ( 163177 ) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:58PM (#13088015) Homepage Journal
      Don't you mean 60,000 people hired in India? :)

    • I'd like to inject a little bit of concrete food for though into the argument. I just took a look over at HP's Job Application Page [hp.com]. It would seem the Indian facilities are constantly in a hiring phase (it's been like this for months, if you check regularly).
    • by subhagho ( 900515 )

      How do you think US became an economic power? A completely internal enconomy can never make profit because the net of spending and earing will always remain constant. To have capital gains an ecomony will have to profit at the expense of other economies. Over the last 100 yrs. you guys were the better off. And in being better off you created a standard of living which has come back to haunt you. Your world turns upside down if you can't get hold of the latest gizmos and spend billions on celluloid stupidity

  • by wfberg ( 24378 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:43PM (#13087931)
    Bob: "We find it's always better to fire people on a Friday."

    Bob: "Studies have statistically shown that there's less chance of an incident if you do it at the end of the week."
  • The HP way (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:44PM (#13087937) Homepage
    HP is getting rid of anything that might distinguish it from a box-mover like Dell. Just look what it did with the technology assets it got from DEC and Compaq.

    In the short term it should improve profitability. I'm not so sure about the long term, though.
    • Re:The HP way (Score:2, Interesting)

      Man, I hope that they get rid of the right ones. I've talked to their CRS's while lookin' to buy two different laptops and about 80% of the ones that I talked to were really knowledgeable... just that one that wasn't seeming to know what he was doing, but he at least passed me to someone who did, so I'd still count it as a good call.

      There's too many other companies that I don't buy from specifically because of the fact that their Customer Service Representatives don't fully understand their own product (n
    • There are lots of good scientific devices companies. Hopefully in the long term we will have more companies like what HP was in 1970,80 or 90 emerge and do what the old HP used to do.
  • No Management Cuts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElNonoMasa ( 820089 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:45PM (#13087948)
    HP's management team and business units will remain in their current form, with the restructuring mainly focusing on the workforce...
    Makes you wonder what management team let it get non-competitive in the first place, and why are they not affected by the cuts?
    • by Will_Malverson ( 105796 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:56PM (#13088006) Journal
      Makes you wonder what management team let it get non-competitive in the first place, and why are they not affected by the cuts?

      That would be Carly, and she's already been affected. Affected to the tune of a $40M payout package, but since getting rid of her caused HP's total market cap to go up several billion dollars, getting rid of her was money well spent.
  • by anubi ( 640541 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:47PM (#13087958) Journal
    An employees "usefulness" ranges from damn near useless to damn near indispensable.

    The "indispensible" ones usually have the attribute of time urgency to get things done... and getting another job is now on their list.

    The "useless" ones lounge around.

    When the managers get around to announcing exactly who is gonna be affected, they get to choose among the useless ones, as the "indispensable" ones by that time already have jobs... working for their competitors.

  • by randall_burns ( 108052 ) <randall_burnsNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:51PM (#13087977)
    Yes, they still employ 150,000 folks. However, the company is fundamentally addicted to H-1b/L-1 visas and has a lackluster recent record at serious technical innovation. For a company like HP to seriously thrive, they _must_ innovate. At this point, HP is more the preserve of bean counters than inventors.
  • by premii ( 667023 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:52PM (#13087984)
    Thy are no planning, its already been started month ago, my team got laid off couple weeks ago. and before us, atleast 15-20 people got laid off out of around 200 people at Dearborn, MI location. and thy are planning to reduce atleast 30% of work force, and off shoring to Toronto, Malasiya and India, and replacing with cheap contract.
  • Fucking disgusting what has happened to HP over the last 5 years. Compaq merger was a disaster. Carly was a disaster. Hewlett and Packard would be astonished at what their company is doing today. I feel really sorry for all the HP workforce that've had to endure this b/s.
  • IANACEO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Comatose51 ( 687974 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @03:56PM (#13088005) Homepage
    I'm not a CEO, but: "HP's management team and business units will remain in their current form, with the restructuring mainly focusing on the workforce, said the source, who declined to further delve into the effect of the layoffs in each division. The source noted none of the existing executives on the management team will be re-assigned to new posts, but members may be added to the team."

    That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. So now you have 15,000 less people to lead/manage but you still have the same number of executives and managers. That seems to create a very top heavy structure and those tend to fall over both in the management world and the engineering world.

    The more cynical side of me tells me that the execs and managers have more pull so would put up more of a fight if laid off. I'm sure the top level execs know the middle level ones at personal level so found it harder to laid them off. Instead, the little peons on the bottom who they barely know or care about can fend for themselves.

    HP Services has roughly 65,000 employees, but analysts are predicting HP will lop off only about 8 percent here because the company is working on edging out IBM Global Services, EDS and Accenture for corporate contracts. "We estimate that HP has roughly 20,000 salespeople, with the majority in (enterprise server group) and Services, and that CEO Hurd is likely to look to streamline the organization, moving away from HP's current 'matrixed' selling organization to focus on more direct accountability," Sacconaghi said.

    I really hate the word "accountability" when used in isolation. From my experience, if accountability is the only method being used to solve problems, people start playing politics and the blame game. Bueraucracy goes through the roof and everything has to be documented in case the problem doesn't get solved. You end up spending more time covering your ass than solving the problem. You also end up taking a toll on teamwork.

    It seems to me that their current strategy is to lower costs so they can lower their margins to compete. Not a bad plan but there are other avenues. I know at my company, we're more than willing to pay more for better service and reliability. The initial contract cost isn't the only factor. We have to think about the cost of downtime.

    Noncritical research and development (R&D) could also be impacted, analysts suggest. HP's R&D spending is nearly $1 billion higher than all of its relevant competitors combined, according to an independent benchmarking analysis done by Sacconaghi's firm. The comparison was designed to mirror the one that Hurd has professed as his method for bringing costs back into line. "We suspect that Hurd might be able to lower HP's annual $3.5 billion in R&D by $250 (million)-$500 million through the elimination of non-core projects, Sacconaghi said. So they're going to gut the thing that made HP great in the first place. I don't know what they consider non-critical R&D but a lot of innovations aren't obviously useful at first. Didn't a division of HP invent the optical mouse? I wonder if that was considered critical at the time.

    Again, I'm not a CEO. I'm all for making an organization more efficient but I wonder if they're making the right cuts. It's sad to see the "Grey Lady of the Silicon Valley", the engineers' corporation get hacked to pieces.

    • I have to agree. HP seems to keep digging itself into a hole. At first it was only 6 feet deep. With Carly , it was deeper, this new CEO isn't helping. They're at the center of the earth.

      IMO the core of any tech company is: research, support and sales. If you cut jobs in those areas, are the managers going to be making sales calls? Doubt it. Are they going to do support and research? They wouldn't know how.

      If this continues, I can see something else happening to HP: its competitors get their old employee
    • R&D is only useful if it produces results for the company. They aren't doing it for charity, they want to make money. Given that they are currently losing money, they probably ought to cut back on R&D expenses. How much money did they make from the optical mouse, anyway? The only division which made money was the printer one. Doesn't look like they need too much R&D.
      • The trouble with R&D is that it's a long-term investment. When a company's doing well, it's happy to spend money there, and months or years later it reaps the rewards. But when a company's doing badly, it tends to think more short-term. Cuts to R&D may give an immediate financial gain, but in a year or two, when the company's doing lousy and competitors are overtaking it left right and centre, will anyone have a long enough memory to realise why?

  • HP is planning to layoff 15000 employees... but employees are not expected to be immediately notified of their status, the source said, noting such a practice is common in corporate America.

    This all started with Bush Sr, and his NAFTA, to export jobs to Mexico. I remember the lies, how it would stregnthen the American workforce.

    Now the current Bush is exporting jobs to India.

    Anyone see a pattern of what the republicans are doing? They got the idea, they no longer need American workers. So they start

    • Money is evil. It makes people do horrible things.
      Good, then my recomendation to you is to quit your job so you are not polluted by any of this 'money' (and no going on welfare either!)
      In fact since you care so much, you should actively go around to the HP workers who were not laid off and tell them to quit their jobs too to prevent them from being corrupted by money as well.
    • Republicans have always been the pro business party. That they would aim to screw the middle class in favor of the rich is nothing new or shocking. The problem is that the Democratic party no longer exists in any meaningful sense.

      I'm starting to think more and more it might be a really good thing if abortion gets overturned. Then maybe the red state people can start voting their interests rather than their god and we can go back to having reasonable politics in this country. Flying to Canada/Mexico onc
    • by TheNumberSix ( 580081 ) <NumberSix@simpli ... EL.com_minusfood> on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:22PM (#13088134)
      I don't want to get in the way of your tear, but I think NAFTA was very much a bipartisan effort.

      The idea had been talked about long before Bush I was in office, he had some discussions about it. President Clinton signed the NAFTA deal on Dec 8, 1993. And I believe it was ratified by a Senate and House, both with Democratic majorities. (57-43 Dems in the Senate, and 258-176 Dems in the House) You can check which party was in government in recent history at this link [gvsu.edu].

    • by RoundSparrow ( 341175 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:29PM (#13088183)
      I hope my kids don't have the future I think they will. A small studio, with advertising inside the apartment that can't be turned off. Working 6 days a week, 10 hours a day, and still not having enough to eat good food. And having a police that exists not to protect people, but to keep the poor out of the rich neighborhoods.

      I'm from the USA (native balding white guy, mid 30's), and know it pretty well - as I spent 2001-2004 living in a RV traveling the states working internet job via cell phones.

      I have spent the last year living in Chile in a decent site city (200,000 people).

      You pretty much describe Chile and MUCH of the world "outside the USA" from what I have studied ...

      Have you considered that maybe this is just the natural rebalance of wealth?

      Frankly, the USA as it was from WW2 - 2000 could prove to be unsustainable... at least without some form of rebalance. Even if the average person in the USA were knocked down by 50% income... still better off than MANY places in the world.

      And JAPAN in the 1980's and 1990's took a lot of the real wealth... cherry picked Hollywood, etc. Turned Tokyo into a city more expensive than NYC as quick as they could.

      BTW, here in Chile the latin american tradition of close family is more responsible for the 'small studio' part... they actually share a house with many generations of the same family living under one roof. More family ties, less stress, more simple pleasures. The point is, there are cultural reasons too - not just financial.
      • Probably. Despite the supposedly altruistic reasons it had for entering WW2, the US benefitted positioned itself to make a killing after the war and did so with a vengeance.

        The US after WW2 became a culture of selfishness and exclusive personal ownership: my car, my stereo, my house. Among my friends (heart of silicon valley, all 19-25), it might end up looking more like what you say. Most of my friends live with family still and will for quite a while. I'm building an addition for myself to live in. I've

      • You pretty much describe Chile and MUCH of the world "outside the USA" from what I have studied ...Have you considered that maybe this is just the natural rebalance of wealth? Frankly, the USA as it was from WW2 - 2000 could prove to be unsustainable..

        Okay, but... that would make a lot more sense if balancing were actually what were happening, rather than the United States becoming internally more imbalanced. The middle class of America may be getting more "balanced" compared to the people of Chile, but t
      • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @08:50PM (#13089707)
        Have you considered that maybe this is just the natural rebalance of wealth?
        Sure it is. Wealth begets wealth. That's why we had kings and peasants before a middle class.

        But are you using natural as a proxy for desirable? A lot of things are natural. Having cavities in your teeth is natural, is that a good reason not to go to the dentist? We have a lot of people who are such devout capitalists that they think anything explained by market forces must be AOK.

    • On the other hand: It is also ridiculous that in Asia people work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, earn about $100 a month for that (that is a lot), while at this side of the world a person doing the same mindless job earns 8 to 16 times more. Jobs like janitor. That kind of inequality can not hold up. So something has to go, apparently at this moment it is the richer side going poorer, before the other side cathes up.

      On the bright side: It will all get better once the remaining blue collar work force is au
    • by Erich ( 151 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:51PM (#13088322) Homepage Journal

      How can any country justify having CEO's that make $10,000,000+ a year, and having janitors who make $5.75 an hour?

      Hi, welcome to America. I'll be giving you a brief synopsis of how a free market works.

      In a free and open job market, you have people and you have jobs. Many people have the ability to do more than one kind of job. Likewise, most jobs could potentially be filed by one of a relatively large set of people.

      Some jobs are able to be done by lots of people, like being a cook in a fast food restaraunt. Some people are willing to take that job because they do not have a skill set that enables them to work a different job, or maybe because they like it. Anyway, the worker and the business agree on compensation for the job that is agreeable to both the business and the worker. If there is someone willing to do the same job for less, then the worker should get paied less. If there is nobody that can do as good of a job for the same price, the worker can ask for more money and may get it.

      For a job like a CEO or Baseball player, there is incredible demand to get the absolute best people for those positions. If you are the best baseball player, you can demand a lot of money, because there is demand to have the absolute best player on your baseball team: it would help you win, wins help you sell more tickets and advertisements, and people want their team to win. If your team is a perpetual loser, you won't sell as many tickets. (Unless you are the Cubs, because of Cubs Fans like Me).

      Likewise, Good CEOs can demand a premium. Someone who can manage a business effectively has a skillset that is in high demand. If you can make your company that earns 1 Billion / year, and grow that profit by 20%, you are worth a lot of money. Stockholders are willing to pay these high salaries because there is the perception that a good CEO can lead a company to be more profitable.

      Of course, this is all based on perception. If killing the R&D saves money now, but you lose out on the next major innovation, you've screwed yourself. But that's how the market works, and your competition (who did the right R&D) will beat you. As they should.

      Now you may notice that America isn't exactly a free market. Even when Southwest airlines is making money, the Government gives billions of dollars to airlines who didn't make good business decisions. Unfortunately, the Government has, over the last several decades, gotten more involved with business. This leads to situations where bad businesses are rewarded, in many ways at the expense of better businesses. This makes those better businesses less competitive in the global marketplace. Which means that jobs will flow out of America into places where the work / pay ratio is better.

      The good news is that you have the freedom to do things you think will be successful. Is there demand for baseball games for blue-collar folks? Start up your own baseball league, sell tickets for $5, sell beer and hot dogs for $1 each, and pay amateurs a few extra bucks to come out and play in front of some people. Will people come out to your park? Maybe. But maybe people won't really want to come to your baseball stadium and see fourth-rate baseball played. And that's the risk you take in a capitalistic society. If you want the best baseball players to come and play for you, you'll have to pay them what they demand. And if you have to pay them a lot, you'll have to earn lots of money. It's just the way things work.

      Of course, there's another way to do things, the socialist way. The government makes sure everyone has a good lifestyle, regardless of what they do. The government also tries its best to make sure the best people don't get too far ahead of the worst people. The government has a hand in almost every part of the economy. Europe does this a lot, and the lowest standard of living in Europe tends to be better than the lowest standard of living here. And w

      • by John Seminal ( 698722 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @05:22PM (#13088525) Journal
        I think your post was well thought out, and good.

        Socialism scares me. The direction of America scares me. Patton said ``America loves a winner. America will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise a coward. Americans play to win. That's why America has never lost a war, for the very thought of losing is hateful to an American.'' I wonder if now this is no longer true; Americans love losers and cannot tolerate a winner. And it's sad, really, because Americans have the opportunity to become winners. We're just choosing to bring everyone down to the loser level, making sure nobody gets ahead, so that nobody will be left behind.

        I agree, in the pre-1990 era, America did love a winner. So did I. When a freind of the family succeeded and got a great job, or got accepeted to medical school, or did something really good, everyone was happy. People would celebrate, there would be large meals, everyone felt good.

        What has changed?

        • Enron
        • Motorola lays off 11,000
        • GM lays off 25,000
        • Martha Stewart gets insider information
        • CEO fo Motorola gets million dollar bonus, lays off more people
        • Arthur Anderson looks the other way
        • Families need both parents working, nobody is left at home with the kids, fast food replaces home cooking, eating in front of the TV replaces family dinners and discussions
        • Jerry Sinfield racks up 100+ parking tickets in NYC for parking in handicapped or fire zones. He publicly says "I have enough money to pay those tickets, it is the price of parking where I want. And if I am toed, I have someone else who can bring me another porche"
        • Tuition at schools rises faster than inflation
        • For many, school is not an option, and the US Army is recruiting in highschools (since when is being a mercenary a requirement for an education)
        • Gas prices double, nearly triple the past decade
        • Places require credit checks and personality tests for hiring
        • And workers are looked at as a commodity, like an ox pulling a wagon, not as people

        Those are a few reasons why America no longer loves a winner. The avarage American is not greedy. We want a nice house, a yard for the kids to play in, a car, food in the fridge, money for a vacation, and a retirement fund. The problem is, that lifestyle is not middle class anymore, it is becomming upper class.

        Is it any suprise that parents are threatening teachers, that if their kids don't get "A"'s in all their classes, get accepted to the best schools, that parents will sue teachers, or get a gun and kill a teacher. I think in Texas some mom killed another cheerleader so her daughter could get on the team and have less competition. In the papers, at a youth baseball game a father beat up an umpire for calling a third strike on his son, when the father thought it was a ball.

        Think about this very carefully. People are scared there will be no future. They are fighting like 10 wild hyinas over a found carcus. We are loosing our humanity when we degrade ourseleves to fight for a basic survival.

        • What has changed?

          Nothing, as somebody else pointed out these issues existed in the past.

          Instead of Enron there was the S&L scandal; tech jobs were being taken by the Japanese instead of the India and China; insider trading was legal until the 60's; AT&T and the rail barons existed long before Microsoft; the military has always recruited in high schools; gas prices and inflation exploded in the 70s; and workers have always been looked at like a commodity

          Think about this very carefully. People ar
      • America loves a winner. America will not tolerate a loser.

        The problem with this calculus is that there are no winners. EVERY HUMAN will ultimately end in total impoverishment (i.e. death).

        There is no win or lose. There is only "suffer more" or "suffer less"--and the curve is logarithmic with respect to increases in wealth. Past a certain level of capitalization in an individual life, the inverse relationship between dollar quantities and suffering quantities is increasingly shallow, the opposite of what
    • This all started with Bush Sr, and his NAFTA, to export jobs to Mexico. I remember the lies, how it would stregnthen the American workforce.

      This is such a myth - that Bush was the force behind NAFTA. NAFTA passed under immense bipartisan support. I still remember the photo ops and being shocked that the conservative/protectionist and the liberal/socialist crowds both showed up for the pro-nafta events. Support for NAFTA continued under Clinton, including a massive bailout of the Mexican economy when the
  • And to think.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ryouga3 ( 683889 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:08PM (#13088057) Journal
    Hewlett-Packard (HP) was once known for how much they cared about their employees.

    It just goes the show that short-term, bottom-line only thinking really isn't good business sense.
    • Their bottom line would be alot better if they hadn't bought that dog of a company, Compaq.

      I wonder how many employees that they brought on with Compaq vs how many they are laying off now.

      People always complain about inefficiency in government, but I've seen big public companies waste millions and millions. Most of these employees will get a decent severence package, and have their health insurance paid for by HP for a while. Next year, they'll announce that they are hiring 10,000 to keep up with the new
  • by ShatteredDream ( 636520 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:16PM (#13088102) Homepage
    It's been my experience that people who do the non-specialized business work tend to think that their "leadership" is invaluable to the company, when in reality it is easily reproduced. An engineer can rise to the occassion and be a good leader, but a person whose formal training is just "business" or a MBA and a liberal arts background cannot just rise to the occassion and be a replacement engineer. Leadership is something that is half nature, half nurture. Most people I've ever known, myself included, who are good at leading have a very strong natural knack for leading and organizing.

    Personally, I would want efficiency-minded former engineers to head an engineering company I was the CEO of. I'd want these former engineers because they'd know what's bullshit and what's not and that'd keep my company's ass farther away from the fire. We're sentient beings, not hive workers. To paraphrase Heinlein, specialization is for insects, there is no reason why someone who spent most of their career as an engineer cannot have a good sense for business and be a good business leader.

    Since the buck clearly doesn't stop at the CEO's desk in most situations, I don't see why stockholders waste tens of millions of dollars of their company's money on them. At a company like HP, the CEO is naturally going to be detatched from most of the company's operations and excuse me, but I just don't see why any company would sacrifice anyone who could contribute to R&D of new products when cuts in middle and upper management employment and salaries would yield decent results.

    Which is more likely to bring a higher ROI: firing many of the people capable of making new products and keeping many of the middle managers and their upper management ilk, or trimming top down? Maybe if HP put many of those people on some good projects, they'd do a lot of good for the company. It'd be ironic if several groups from the 15,000 who get laid off end up founding companies that make the next iPod, Tivo or something like that.

    I'm not saying that many of them shouldn't have been laid off, just that it is incredibly stupid to fire people who can make products if assigned properly, but not cut back severely on upper management's pay and the ranks of the middle managers. When Sun laid off a number of its Solaris and Java developers, but didn't fire McNealey, that loud mouth imbecile, I just shook my head. In order to save money and face, our shiny suit wearing business elite would rather fire people with very hard to find engineering skills that could make or break the success of their products than cull the ranks of their own.
  • by bigberk ( 547360 ) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:17PM (#13088108)
    HP is firing 15,000 employees on top of the 3,000 jobs they already have cut since November.

    IBM announced cutting 10,000 to 13,000 jobs in Europe just last month.

    Ford and General Motors can't sell cars and are at risk of defaulting on their debt -- their credit rating has been cut down the minimum by ratings agencies.

    So is this the freight train of a bull economy everyone is raving about? I'm an amateur financial enthusiast but I strongly suggest anyone thinks twice before buying any mutual funds in this climate. Stocks are at 4 year highs and future prospects don't look positive at all
  • I left HP's services organization in May, and I have to say that it was a wonderful move.

    I worked for them for 4 years, and there seemed to be no interest in employee development. I was making a good salary, but found no interest in spending a few thousand a year to develop skills and interests among the talented employees. The reason I stayed as long as I did was the fact that I was on an account contracted for a long enough period of time, that my job appeared safe, but with HP, I felt like I was "play
  • It really ought to be a matter of common sense that employees won't know their status immediately. Someone decides at a high level that they're going to change their priorities, and each division needs to cut their spending by a certain percentage. That percolates down, with managers at each level deciding which portions of their organization are most valuable and efficient. Sometimes whole divisions will be cut or merged (with cuts delegated down) and often the cuts will go down to the individual employ
  • by adrianmonk ( 890071 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:27PM (#13088176)

    Being one of the resident curmudgeonly grammar freaks, I feel inclined to point out that "layoff" is a noun, and "lay off" is a verb (phrase). Therefore, it isn't possible to "layoff" someone; instead, you must lay them off.

  • TFA? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by torstenvl ( 769732 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:28PM (#13088179)
    Has anyone read the article? Because it seems the link is bad. I get "Hurd signs on as new HP chief" as the story, and a quick search for "layoff" fails, as does a search for "15".

    As for the layoffs... well... I really believe in free, borderless markets. I really really do. But I think we can take a lesson from the EU, and require an adherence to a minimum set of criteria before granting full trade privileges. Giving other markets power without responsibility is a bad thing; without some sort of market synchronization we're just shooting ourselves in the foot.

    What if we could say "Okay, India, we'll have completely free trade with you if you become a member of WEFTA (World-Encompassing Free Trade Agreement) and have your economy up to minimum standards within five years."

    Maybe a four-tiered system could be made:
    • Tier 3:
      • We disapprove of counties' economies and market practices
      • Trade is negotiated on a case-by-case basis
      • Superfluous trade is discouraged
    • Tier 2:
      • Friendly trade partners
      • Large-scale trading allowed
      • Protectionism discouraged
      • Reflects current US/EU (e.g., Boeing/Airbus subsidies)
    • Tier 1:
      • Similar to current US/Canada relations
      • Mostly free trade
      • Would be mostly for candidate WEFTA members
      • Expectations of attempted synchronization to WEFTA standards
    • Tier 0:
      • Full WEFTA member
      • All members compliant with WEFTA labor regulations
      • Free movement of goods, services, people, institutions, without visas or import/export taxes
      • Would be like current trade relations between any two US States

    This is a bit more complicated than the current EU system, but the idea is the same: Don't let our jobs, our money, our very economy go to those who aren't gonna play by the rules. Small economic variations in WEFTA would exist and would be allowed (it's cheaper to live in a small town in Ithaca, NY than it is in Beverly Hills, CA) for free-trade regions but this $1-an-hour-factory-in-Mexico phenomenon wouldn't exist to pull jobs from the lower rungs of the U.S. (or any full WEFTA member) economy.

    If only we could get our Congress to get their charbon and acier together. ;-)
  • by Wansu ( 846 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @04:35PM (#13088219)

    ... for the past 5 years. And yet, the smug, smirking, puffy pundits continually tell us what fabulous shape the economy is in. No doubt most of these HP jobs paid well. The US has been hemoraging high paying jobs for 5 years. And I thought the recession of the early 90s was bad. That recesion was characterized by 4 figure layoffs. If headcount is a good measure, this recession is 10 times worse.

  • Board of directors: "That's the first time and the last time we ever let a woman run our company."

    This instance does not speak for all women, but this definitely will not help them either. Thanks, Carly.
  • How many people of the lowest here - the sales and support employees could be saved by dumping say the top 3 wage earners at HP.
    Having had to call the support line at HP for a faulty bit of hardware recently I have to say they need more phone agents.
  • the price of ink cartridges will skyrocket...

    just a hunch
  • by Midnight Warrior ( 32619 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @05:16PM (#13088497) Homepage
    Read more on their new CEO Hurd at The Register [theregister.co.uk]. This is not the last layoff. I know the industry reports say that Hurd will do great things just like he did for NCR, but I live here in Dayton, OH, where NCR is headquartered.

    I don't work for, near, or against NCR in any market, I just live here. My perception has been that Hurd took NCR and focused them on ATM machines, their core business. Lots and lots of other unrelated things were shed, including long-term employees and facilities. Most recently, NCR has turned over maintenance of their world-class headquarters to a local office-real estate company (Miller Valentine). Their ATM sales, by the way, are in competition with the infamous Diebold, Inc. And in that market, Diebold is innovating with ways to keep banks coming back to them. NCR just never seemed to get the hang of it.

    Now back to HP and the recent high speed printing invention [slashdot.org], and I would have to say we can all expect HP to shed all the unprofitable businesses and focus heavy on the printing. Well, heavier than they already do.

    I expect that if HP is in some select-contract, highly-profitable, niche market that they will stay there. NCR has their TeraData database [ncr.com]. HP had, during the merger claimed that Compaq's worldwide sales and services forces would allow them to dominate global industries, but I don't think that really every took foot they way they wanted to. So, unless they drum up something other than calculators and home PCs, those segments are likely to get hit hard. Hurd likely won't wait for the home PC market to do something unique because they've had a couple of dozen years to find a niche and haven't. I'd better say goodbye to the calculator segment too before Cringely goes around saying something stupid like "you saw it here first."

    So that leaves the saturated inkjet market. Since the DMCA cannot be used, [slashdot.org] and since we're already paying $3,800US per gallon of ink, [aroundcny.com] increasing profitability will be difficult to do without large customer outbursts. Of course, NCR was so full of waste, those of us in Dayton didn't think they could ever shed all of it and yet they did.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.