HP may be laying off 27,000 employees. That hasn’t stopped execs from flying around in a fleet of seven private corporate jets.CEO Meg Whitman has gotten a lot of praise for tearing down the barbed wire surrounding the “executive” parking lot and moving execs from cushy offices to ordinary cubbies. But we hear employees are still grumbling about this significant travel perk bestowed on the top brass from earlier, cushier days.
HP PR explained to Business Insider that the fleet of jets are necessary:
HP owns a number of aircraft that are used by our executives. We operate in more than 170 countries around the world and it’s important that our teams be able to reach customers efficiently and securely no matter where they are.
Although we have not been able to confirm exactly how much HP spends on its fleet of jets, one source estimated that it’s about $30 million annually. That could be a high estimate but there’s no doubt that managing seven planes is a big operation. HP owns three planes and leases four, sources close to the company confirmed.
In December 2010, Professional Pilot magazine profiled HP’s fleet of 7 Gulfstream V planes. Executives used the planes for trips ike a quick two-day trip to South America; 7-day, 4-stop flights to Europe; weeklong launches to Asia; and round-the-world trips with 10 to 13 legs, Professional Pilot reported.
HP’s aviation group reportedly employed a bunch of people: 17 pilots, 9 maintenance technicians, 4 flight attendants, and 4 people to manage schedules.
Here’s a thought for Whitman: If you are really looking to cut HP’s expenses, why not get rid of a few planes?