back to article HP polishes the redundancy cannon, prepares to fire 16% of workforce

HP Inc's incoming CEO kicked off his reign of terror at the hard-pressed organisation by doing what so many old-world tech company bosses do these days: chopping thousands of jobs and buying back shares. The plan is to lay off up to 16 per cent of the 55,000-strong workforce, shedding between 7,000 to 9,000 jobs via redundancy …

  1. imanidiot Silver badge

    In other words

    HP is continuing it's long slow slide into obscurity and irrelevance.

    No surprise there then. Sucks for those who lose their jobs though.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: In other words

      It sucks but given HPs successes, it won’t be many jobs

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: In other words

      I thought that slide was already complete around the time it split up, and now they are slowly sliding into bankruptcy. Since they are so heavily dependent on printing and PCs, two shrinking industries with ever thinner margins, I expect they'll complete this slide by the end of the next decade.

    3. NeilPost Bronze badge

      Re: In other words

      Merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprise anyone ???

  2. tmTM

    Stock Price

    When the CEO is only interested in the stock price you know it's a good indication to short in the long term.

    Initial gains will be followed by substantial losses as they've clearly lost focus on their core business.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Stock Price

      Tsk, Tsk. We all know that the share price will rocket back up to new heights once the evil thief Mike Lynch hands back the $8Bn he stole from HPE. All employees then will be reinstated at full pay and a massive bonus. Meg says so, so it must be true.

    2. robbo1100

      Re: Stock Price

      'create shareholder value'- corporate speak for "board bonus time". Steal employees livelihoods for financial gain come bonus time. While some staff cutbacks would be necessary, let's not lose sight of why they are necessary - changing market conditions, antiquated services and corporate mismanagement over many years.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "even more customer focused"

    With less employees to do the job. Sure, that's going to work.

    As of now, I am just waiting for the CEO who will whittle down employee count to 10,000 and spout the same bullshit.

    Being CEO in a large corporation is apparently easy : all you have to do is have no soul and cull the staff numbers. Your bonus is ensured, and in the worse case, you have your golden parachute made from the tears of all those people you fired.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "even more customer focused and digitally enabled company that will lead with innovation and purpose."

    Translation - back to the chips in cartridges to screw customers.

  5. SirWired 1

    What is the deal with buzzword bingo?

    Do corporate executives genuinely not realize that generic buzzword-bingo (e.g. this example of "advancing our leadership, disrupting industries and aggressively transforming the way we work") actively turns off most of those that read it?

    What sort of lobotomy takes place for somebody to think that this is anything *but* the exact opposite of useful (much less inspiring) writing? Heck, you could argue that passing around tequila shots and hiring Run D-M-C is *less* inappropriate than that anodyne garbage in a press release where you announce axing a fifth of the workforce.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: What is the deal with buzzword bingo?

      No, they don't. The blather they spout isn't for employees and the rest of us. It's for the board and investors. Share holder value is everything to them. Products, sales, and a work environment the encourages those things seem to be disappearing.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: What is the deal with buzzword bingo?

      familiar buzzword bingo... shoptalkitus?

      I thought to myself, What, if anything does this mean, and "I wonder if this guy: a) Knows how ridiculous he sounds? b) know how to speak normally when not at work?

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: What is the deal with buzzword bingo?

        "Honey, I see an opportunity to increase family shareholder value by advancing my leadership, disrupting the neighborhood and aggressively transforming the way I work. This means controlling costs and getting increased buy-in from the guys at the golf club. So I'm kicking one of the kids out of the house and rightsizing my marital commitments by replacing you with a 22 year old with enhanced assets. But don't worry! I've had you reclassified from wife to exempt workforce, and HR will be along to notify you of your severance package. Meanwhile here's a cardboard box for your belongings, take your time over filling it, you've got till lunchtime."

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: What is the deal with buzzword bingo?

      Yes they do but the communications dept rejected the original submission of "We are on a sinking ship and need to look busy on deck if we are to continue drawing our large management salaries".

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We are taking bold and decisive actions as we embark on our next chapter"

    So is this the last chapter before they move onto the final conclusions in "the life and times of HP"?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: "We are taking bold and decisive actions as we embark on our next chapter"

      Or even Chapter 11...

      1. Benson's Cycle
        Alert

        Re: "We are taking bold and decisive actions as we embark on our next chapter"

        Companies have been known to emerge from Chapter 11. I suspect they will try for Chapter 7.

        US bankruptcy is a bit like chopping a vampire's head off - a brief hiccup in business as usual.

  7. DRue2514

    I initially read that as HP fiasco '20

  8. johnnyblaze

    ...and so begins the demise of HP then. Same old CEO sh*t - kick out the people who make the difference, keep the shareholders happy and cream the bonuses. All the while, spewing forth the expected lingo/jargon to try and keep the wolves at bay while they 'restructure'. Unfortunately, that word 'restructure' means lay-offs just due bolster the bottom line. HP will go the same way as IBM, who now have about 2 staff left. HP can digitally transform and disappear up their own ethernet cable for all I care.

    1. Groove-Cat

      "HP can digitally transform and disappear up their own ethernet cable for all I care."

      that's one cup a tea you owe me. :)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "and so begins the demise of HP then"

      Begins?

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Facepalm

    5 billion

    dollars into share buy back?

    Why not plough that cash into R&D and hopefully get a product out that will generate 20 billion in cash flow over its lifetime?

    Oh sorry forgot the C level people are paid in stock options..........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5 billion

      They should use this money instead and plough it into making their Elitebook laptops more reliable

      1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: 5 billion

        They should use this money instead and plough it into making their Elitebook laptops more reliable

        Unfortunately, they just fired all the people that knew how to do that.

  10. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Just once...

    I'd like to hear a CEO say something like "We intend to create shareholder value the old-fashioned way -- by producing products that customers want to buy and serving those customers to the absolute best of our ability to keep them coming back."

    ...I can dream, can't I...?

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Just once...

      Huawei tried that, how's it working out for them?

      Must not rock the boat.

    2. simonlb Silver badge

      Re: Everything under control

      "by producing products that customers want to buy and serving those customers to the absolute best of our ability to keep them coming back"

      That's pretty much what HP did for the first 60-odd years of it's existence and it worked pretty well. Strange eh?

  11. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Redundant at 21

    I was made redundant by an American blue chip electronics corp a week after our R&D division made it's first ever profit, causing me to cancel my mortgage insurance. It seemed awful at the time but try getting sympathy from 21 year olds today who can only dream of owning a house or having a full time job.

    An IBM employee pal said, "Well, you've worked there five years, at least you'll have five months redundancy money" - I got five weeks pay off.

    Again, I don't expect sympathy from these HP former employees, quite the reverse. I got another job within the five weeks so was able to keep my cottage. I still recall my first day in a Job Centre though, I sat on the seat thinking someone would eventually call me, and sat there all day unnoticed. And that was the good old days under Thatcher.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Redundant at 21

      >An IBM employee pal said, "Well, you've worked there five years, at least you'll have five months redundancy money"

      Were you working it France ?!

      >I got five weeks pay off.

      Ah. No.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Redundant at 21

        She was working In Spango Valley, Greenock. It was an interesting miles long conveyor belt of a plant, so long they used to have to mini-bus the workers to the canteen.

        That was life in 'Silicon Glen' in the early nineties, jumping job to job as companies closed up and relocated to the far east, or to the RoI, as government subsidies dried up here.

  12. 2Blockchainz

    Bon Voyage, HP Ink

    My personal opinion: HP has been a zombie company since the Fiorina days, whose focus has not been on creating relevant technology for its customers, but finding novel methods to expoit them.

    I'm prepared for many thumbs down: However, If you are talented and hardworking, and you come to realize your firm's raison d'etre is build legal and technogical hurdles so people can't replace their printer ink with any ink other than your own, then it is time to reflect on whether that is the purpose you wish to devote your life's work.

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Bon Voyage, HP Ink

      I spent my entire career helping to put other people out of work (as is the tendency with IT jobs), so the only purpose I wished to devote my life's work to was not having to work any more.

      1. 2Blockchainz

        Re: Bon Voyage, HP Ink

        Respectfully, I would suggest that this result is the outcome of performing useful work, not the goal of work itself.

        Then again, one might say the City and Westminster are useful counter-examples!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Bon Voyage, HP Ink

        I spent the second half of my working life in IT. As far as I could make out the result was enabling companies grow or at least run hard enough to stay in the same place.

  13. Alister Silver badge

    The company expects to reduce gross global headcount

    ...through a combination of employee exits (7th floor windows) and voluntary early retirements (Kzzzzzzzzrrrrrrrrrrrrrrttttt!)

  14. _LC_ Silver badge
    Meh

    A few years from now, they gonna blame this on the Chinese as well.

    Betcha!

  15. Jay Lenovo Silver badge

    Leading to greatness

    Sell less, employ less.

    Of course, this will be offset with a leadership raise regardless of outcome.

  16. sawatts
    Mushroom

    Somebody is connecting dynamos to the graves of Bill and Dave and will make a fortune from the power generated.

    1. simonlb Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Everything under control

      I've been saying this for well over ten years. It's an absolute travesty what successive CEOs have done to what was one of the best IT companies that ever existed as well as a massive insult to what Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard worked so hard at to create.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We are taking bold and decisive actions as we embark on our next chapter," he said. "We see significant opportunities to create shareholder value and we will accomplish this by advancing our leadership, disrupting industries and aggressively transforming the way we work."

    No. You're not. You're recycling the same old rhetoric shit that got HP into the mess its in now. The only 'shareholder value' you'll see will be short term, the 'advancing our leadership' is just the top brass advancing their own agenda (aka lining pockets while they can), and the only industries HP will disrupt is that of their customers (whom I am sure don't *want* to be disrupted). The only vaguely true bit is about transforming the way HP work - ie make it a shittier place to work with a shittier outcome for their customers...

    Its sad. I know a lot of really good people in HP.

  18. Wonder Dog

    HP aren't surfing ..They are drowning

    The world of IT is experiencing yet another massive wave of change,( cloud services, consumerisation etc) and the likes of HP, Oracle,IBM etc are swimming against it and drowning, rather than surfing that wave. This much the same as what happened to the likes of DEC back in the day. I'd expect the likes of HP and HPE to go under eventually ...or remain as a very small niche player at best.

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: HP aren't surfing ..They are drowning

      And Sun.

      When companies start mergers, you know the management doesn't have enough to do running the business properly.

  19. devTrail Bronze badge

    Retirement double standards

    I've been told that the increasing life expectancy will force the governments to increase the retirement age, that I'll probably have to retire when I'll be close to 70 years of age, that it will be the same for everyone else, but ... when the powerful corporation wants to get rid of some workers and the European law don't allow to make people redundant so easily the government dutifully funds with public money their early retirement programs.

  20. Why Not?

    Blimey someone still works for HP??

    I thought they all got redundancy 20 years ago.

  21. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Worked with some great people there

    But I don't miss the company at all.

    If they put half as much effort into creating compelling solutions as they put into creating artificial lock-in, they'd be...well, they'd be the old HP.

  22. tygrus.au

    HP employees pay for management mistakes

    HP board supporting the purchasing of companies like Autonomy for multiples of their value and then later writing off the losses. Now the people (different or same) in the same positions as those who lost the money pay themselves bonuses and fire the workers that earn the company far more than they are paid. Stop burning money on bad decisions and you would be able to keep your workers. There was a court case regarding who knew what, a possible lack of due diligence or did Autonomy cook the books. Those CEO's etc. are paid the big bucks to know what they are doing and don't trust everything you are told.

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