Tuesday, 16 September 2008

EDS/HP to shed 8% of staff – going off-shore?

Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's largest computer company, announced yesterday that it plans to cut 24,600 jobs, almost 8% of its workforce, to streamline its business. Will that result in mass redundancies in its UK operations?

From my contacts it would appear that HP staff in the UK are largely safe – the UK HP operation is judged to be fairly "skinny", and whilst there will inevitably be some overlap and limited job losses, it is felt that the knife is more likely to fall on EDS's workforce. In total, HP/EDS plan to lose some 24,600 employees over three years, half in the States, and mostly through a "restructuring programme" of the EDS business.

But HP states that it plans to replace roughly half of these positions over the three years "to create a global workforce that has the right blend of services delivery capabilities to address the diversity of its markets and customers worldwide." Is this corporate speak for we plan to move a lot of our work out of high-cost employment locations (e.g. like USA, UK, etc...) into lower-cost locations off-shore (like India)?

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