They Shoot Horses Don't They?
I can imagine the story told by Mr Hurd - HP spent $14bn buying EDS - they now realize they have bought a "pup" from captain Ron (strange that none of the EDS alliance partners were interested in buying EDS).
As a result, HP now needs to make big savings and (as usual) staff is the major cost. EMEA is a large part of the problem but the bad news is that France, Germany, Italy and Netherlands have strong works councils and employment laws, so the 3000 job cull will (yet again) have to be mainly in the UK.
I assume that the 1000 "hand-picked employees" invited to Ascot were all "managers" (the EDS term where "to manage" means "to just about cope").
Either that or they were the first tranche to be given their marching orders (was there a link between Ascot and "shooting horses"?).