Skip to main content

HP will axe 34,000 jobs by end of 2014

Hewlett-Packard will lay off 34,000 employees as part of its years-long restructuring plan under CEO Meg Whitman, who has stated that this will be the last major downsizing at the company for the foreseeable future.

The computing giant confirmed this week in an SEC filing that it now plans an even bigger downsizing than it previously revealed.

HP said earlier in the year that it would be laying off about 29,000 employees as part of the major structural overhaul initiated in Whitman's early months as the company's CEO, a job she began in September 2011.

But CFO Cathy Lesjak had warned during an October earnings call that there could be even more layoffs, as noted by Business Insider.

"[L]et's start with the restructuring program. Our restructuring program is really on track. At the end of fiscal '13, on a program-to-date basis, roughly 24,600 people exited under the program. So that's just under 13,000 in fiscal '13," Lesjak said in response to an analyst's question during the call. "As we talked about at the Security Analyst Meeting, our current plan is to end, at the end of '14, at the high-end of our range, so 29,000 plus 15 percent, so somewhere between 33,000 and 34,000 people."

Lesjak's comment also confirmed that HP's leadership expects to wrap up its restructuring of the company by the end of next year. More specifically, the company has stated that the overhaul should be concluded by next October, according to Business Insider.

HP, like many tech giants relying heavily on PC sales, appeared to be unprepared for the exploding popularity of mobile devices like Apple's iPhone and iPad, and the concurrent flat growth experienced by the global PC market in recent years.

The company remains a giant in the data centre, but a series of questionable acquisitions under Whitman's predecessors, punctuated by an accounting scandal related to HP's $10 billion (£6 bilion) deal for enterprise software firm Autonomy in 2011, has contributed to its difficulties.

Whitman took over a company that had no real answer to the iOS and Android devices being snapped up by consumers in lieu of PC upgrades. HP wound up bailing out on its webOS-based TouchPad tablet several years ago, but has since introduced new consumer tablets running Microsoft's Windows 8 and is reportedly prepping Android-based smartphones for emerging markets as well.