Massive cuts could be coming to Hewlett Packard

This Feb 21, 2012 file photo shows a Hewlett Packard logo in Frisco, Texas. Hewlett-Packard Co. showed signs of recovery in the first three months of the year as it strengthened its position as the world's largest maker of personal computers and gained back some of the business it had lost while weighing whether to dump its PC division. HP's stock jumped nearly 7 percent by early afternoon Thursday, April 12, 2012, the first trading day since research groups Gartner and IDC released their quarterly PC shipment estimates. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
May 17, 2012 8:12:30 PM PDT
Palo Alto-based Hewlett Packard is reportedly ready to drop as many as 30,000 people from its payroll -- the largest layoff in its history.

It's ironic that a day before Facebook is set to debut as the third largest company ever to go public, the company that gave rise to Silicon Valley is reportedly laying off 8 percent of its workforce.

When Meg Whitman took over HP in September, she promised to keep making personal computers and reinvigorate that struggling division. In March, she announced the computer and printer divisions would be combined and all over Silicon Valley analysts began predicting layoffs.

"Whitman knows that Hewlett Packard is selling yesterday's goods," tech analyst Larry Magid said.

Magid says the layoffs are significant because it'll save the company a more than $1 billion.

"But I also think it's more significant that she invests some of that money into new businesses," Magid said. "I would say services to beef up their services, maybe try to get back into tablets, they were in it for a while and they pulled out, to try and figure out what the next big thing is and maybe even branch into some kind of web-based strategy."

HP isn't doing much on line beyond selling ink and Magid says that's another business that's drying up.

On the street when you ask which computers are the most popular, HP's name doesn't come out on top. But figuring out why the company is in trouble doesn't do much for the people that work there and who are going to be out of a job. Bloomberg reports 10,000-15,000 positions will be cut from the company's enterprise services group, which sells a range of information technology services.

Those coming out of the company headquarters didn't want to talk about the reports.

The employees of nearby companies that were walking by the headquarters at noon Thursday were sympathetic.

"That's sad, that's very sad," one person said. "What can you say? What can you say, it's just getting worse."

HP is saying nothing. A company spokesperson told ABC7 News the reports of layoffs are speculation and HP has no comment.


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