HP’s massive layoffs will continue beyond 55,000 people, thanks to its plans to separate into two huge companies, CFO Cathie Lesjak indicated on Tuesday.
This shouldn’t be a shock.
As soon as HP started talking about its plans to split itself from one ginormous company into two enormous ones, people started asking about layoffs. Both Lesjak and CEO Meg Whitman have been hinting for months that the separation would probably involve more cuts.
HP is so big, with more than 300,000 employees, that when it separates it will create two Fortune 50-sized companies. Any such reorganization normally includes job cuts.
Plus, HP is already in the midst of a headcount reduction that began in 2012 and has grown from an initial target of 27,000 to 55,000.
On Tuesday’s earnings call, Lesjak said 2,800 people had “exited the company” during the quarter that ended in January. Not all left via layoffs: We know long-term HP employees who have taken early retirement packages or left for new jobs.
So far, 44,000 people have been cut under HP’s 2012 plan. By October, when HP’s fiscal year ends, “55,000 people are expected to exit. However, we do anticipate incremental opportunity for operational improvements identified through the separation process,” said Lesjak on the call.
In other words, she doesn’t know — or isn’t saying yet — how many people the company will cut as it splits but it sees an opportunity to cut more.
We’ve talked to some HP employees, and they aren’t particularly worried. That’s because while cutting, HP is also investing in hot areas like cloud, networking, and advanced systems, and there are long-term career options for many people in those business units.