I noticed people have been finding my website today by searching for “HP layoffs” and “HP job cuts.” That’s because the Palo Alto-based computer- and printer-giant this afternoon announced it will cut nearly 6,400 of its 320,000 employees worldwide, or 2 percent. Even though I’ve spent the past 1.5 years reporting on the travel industry, rather than the tech industry, prior to that I spent 20 months reporting nearly non-stop on Hewlett-Packard’s 10-percent worldwide layoffs. That workforce reduction, spanning summer 2005 through spring 2007, was one of the biggest moves Mark Hurd made during his first 100-days or so as HP’s CEO, and it launched me on a hunt around the world and back through time for internal documents and public documents to comb through that would shed light on the significance, impact, and handling of HP’s repeated waves of downsizing.
So in case you’re one of those readers who is much more interested in HP layoffs than in my envelope-pushing adventures, here are links to all the HP layoff stories so you don’t have to hunt for them. (Well, not all of them. I haven’t had a chance to post the daily, breaking news layoff stories on this website. Actually, if you find those articles posted in their entirety for free somewhere online, can you please shoot me the link and I’ll add it here? In the meantime, here are the heftier, investigative, big-picture articles about HP’s layoffs. Those are probably more intriguing anyway.)
March 29, 2006
“CEO’S FIRST YEAR STABILIZES HP”
Six months after Mark Hurd became chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, he told 900 business partners meeting at the Venetian in Las Vegas that he wasn’t interested in “making a big announcement every 15 minutes.” Rather, he wanted HP to be operate with “incredibly boring regularity.” So far, being boring seems to have paid off.
June 3, 2006
“HP CUTS BACK ON TELECOMMUTING: SOME KEY WORKERS WILL HAVE TO COME TO OFFICE OR FIND NEW JOBS”
Hewlett-Packard, the Silicon Valley company known for pioneering flexible work arrangements four decades ago, is canceling telecommuting for a key division of the company. While other companies nationwide are pushing more employees to work from home to cut office costs, HP believes bringing its information-technology employees together in the office will make them swifter and smarter.
September 6, 2006
“THE AX FALLS IN THE VALLEY: THOUSANDS ALREADY CUT FROM HP ADJUST TO LOSING HP WAY OF LIFE”
If everyone laid off by Hewlett-Packard moved to the same city this autumn, they would fill all the houses and apartments in Cupertino – and 2,600 people would still need homes. Welcome to ex-HPville: population 53,100.
December 21, 2006
“HP CHURN: BOOT 1, HIRE 1”
What’s 150,000 minus 45,000? In Hewlett-Packard’s world, the answer is still roughly 150,000. Hiring people while laying off others is called churn. And HP isn’t the only aging Silicon Valley vanguard that’s using churn to survive the onslaught from technological innovation and global competition. But the legendary computer company’s use of churn to help fuel its financial turnaround illustrates how the strategy has shattered the implicit employment contract that once bound America’s companies with their workers.
February 25, 2007
“MOVING TECH SUPPORT JOBS CLOSER: NEARSHORING”
Some of Silicon Valley’s largest technology companies, in an effort to cut costs and address a mounting stack of customer-service complaints, are embracing an offshoring trend known as “nearshoring.” Unlike the traditional offshoring that flung U.S. customer call centers halfway around the world to India and other faraway countries, nearshoring sends white-collar jobs to Costa Rica, Mexico and other countries in the Western Hemisphere.