Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hewlett-Packard said on Wednesday it was going to lay off 27,000 of its workers over the next year and half in a broad restructuring effort aimed at making the company leaner and more profitable. The news comes alongside HP’s quarterly results which showed profits down more than 30%.

HP executives said in an earnings call that it expects to cut the jobs about 8% of its workforce by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. Some of the workers will be offered early retirement, HP says, and the proportion of jobs cut will vary by region.

Once complete, the restructuring is expected to save HP $3 billion to $3.5 billion, the “vast majority” of which will be used to reinvest in the company. Research and development will factor highly as an area of reinvestement, along with expanding its cloud, security and information services. Enterprise storage is also expected to be an area of growth.

“We’ve got to streamline our operating model,” CEO Meg Whitman said during the call. “We went business unit by business unit and said, ‘What do we want to focus on, and how many individuals do we need to deliver that service?”

Gross revenues for the company were $30.7 billion, down 3% from the previous quarter. Profits came in at $1.59 billion, down from $2.3 billion, a 31% reduction.

HP’s job cuts and declining balance sheet follow a chaotic period that saw the company release and then discontinue its webOS mobile devices (including the HP TouchPad), flirt with selling off its consumer PC division, the fire its new CEO, Leo Apotheker, amid widespread criticism over his plan to reinvent HP as a software-and-services company.

Since then HP appointed Whitman as CEO and has taken many steps to get the company back on track today’s job cuts being the biggest yet.