Hewlett Packard wielding the axe
July 20, 2005
staff at a computer software giant in Reading have been left in limbo after global job cuts of almost 15,000 were announced yesterday.
Hewlett Packard (HP), which has ofFices in Imperial Way, said it would be reducing its 150,000-strong worldwide workforce by around 10 per cent.
But it has not yet been announced where or when the redundancies will take place and staff face up to an 18-month wait to see if their jobs are safe.
The redundancies are part of a targeted programme to save around £1 million each year and simplify the company's structure.
Staff were told about the cuts yesterday morning, and the changes were made public by lunchtime.
Mark Hurd, the newly appointed chief executive and president of HP, was the architect of the plan.
He said: "After a thorough review of our business we have formulated a plan that will enable HP to begin delivering its full potential.
"We can perform better - for our customers and partners, our employees and our shareholders - and we will."
HP, which has seven offices throughout the country including its UK headquarters at Cain Amen Corner, Bracknell, aims to retain its sales staff and its research and development staff but says reductions are likely to come from support functions such as information technology, human resources and finance.
A spokeswoman said it was too early to tell how many employees in Reading and Bracknell would be axed.
She said: "It will be a gradual process, and no decision has been made yet on when the
redundancies will first be made.
"At the moment it's too early for staff to know if they are safe or not - they don't know either way."
She added that staff knew changes were due after the appointment of a new chief executive on March 29, and the mood among staff was "quite
The Amicus union's national officer for the IT sector, Peter Skyte said: "This is the latest
ritual sacrifice of employees by an American IT company on the market altar.
"HP employees in the UK are paying the price for previous management strategies and are left swinging in the wind with uncertainty and insecurity over their future. This is not the way to treat highly skilled and committed employees who are key parts of the future UK knowledge development."