As a by-product of its recent merger with EDS, Hewlett-Packard announced a layoff of more than 24,000 jobs, or almost 8 percent of its workforce. The cuts are highest in support divisions — accounting, information technology, human relations, procurement and legal. But the main rationale of the layoffs is to refocus the combined company's computer-services division on high-end consulting, not low-end gruntwork. What’s worse is the timeframe: job cuts take place over three years. If you work at HP or EDS, your office has now become a professional hospice unit. Adding to the workplace angst: Some at HP, we hear, are getting bonuses even as their colleagues get pink slips. For those fretting about the potential loss of income in these troubling times, we offer the following suggestions on finding your next job or coping with survivor’s guilt.
Hewlett-Packard just announced it will cut 24,600 jobs over the next three years, as it integrates tech consultancy EDS. Half the cuts will take place in the U.S. The company is taking a $1.7 billion charge in the fourth quarter to account for the costs of shedding jobs. Layoffs always suck, but we never were sure what all of those IT consultants did, anyway. [WSJ]
Click to viewBenchmark-backed Glassdoor.com popped out of stealth mode as a site that lets users find out what employees think of their employers. As a part of the ratings, company CEO's get a grade. Some, such as Cisco's John T. Chambers and Apple's Steve Jobs fared very well — coming away with 93 percent and 95 percent approval ratings. Others, including Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, did not. The ten worst-rated CEO's and what employees told Glassdoor they think about them, below.
The culture at Hewlett-Packard, according to the Wall Street Journal, "is considered more of a consensus-building style." You know — lots of meetings and executives who give time and consideration to each other's very important ideas. Meanwhile, the man who runs EDS, the tech-services outfit HP is buying for $13 billion, likes to fire people who don't agree with him. He's Ronald Rittenmeyer, "a high-control, results-oriented, very focused leader," a rival CEO told the Journal. Rittenmeyer, this CEO said, "is exactly what you want in a senior leader" — whether HP colleagues like it or not.
Hewlett-Packard has software to automate datacenters; EDS has datacenters which need automating. That's part of the logic behind HP's $13.9 billion acquisition of the tech-services business. The deal proves that Marc Andreessen is prescient. After he sold Netscape to AOL, Andreessen launched LoudCloud, a website-hosting business powered by advanced software. In the wake of the bust, Andreessen sold the hosting part of the business to EDS, and relaunched the company as Opsware, the name of its automation software. HP bought Opsware last year. While reuniting LoudCloud's constituent parts isn't the reason why Mark Hurd is doing the deal, he is proving that Andreessen's early vision of combining software and services was on the money. Timing is everything.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Hewlett-Packard is nearing a deal to buy EDS for $12 billion to $13 billion. Having set Dell back on its heels in PC sales, HP is now moving to challenge IBM. As computers become commodities, the money is in installing and maintaining them, not marking up Intel's microprocessors and Microsoft's operating system for a thin margin. One wonders if Michael Dell is gutsy enough to launch a rival bid — or, with HP now worth three times as much as Dell, if he can really afford to.