Technology giant Hewlett-Packard said overnight that it would chop about 24,600 jobs, or 7.5 per cent of its total workforce following its US$13.9 billion acquisition of Texan IT services firm Electronic Data Systems.
In a statement, the company said the "restructuring program" would take place over the next three years, with the staff reduction to vary by country, "based on local legal requirements and consultation with work councils and employee representatives".
However HP also expected to replace roughly half of the positions over the same period, to create what it called a global workforce with the right blend of services delivery capabilities.
No mention was made of the fate of HP and EDS' Australian staff, although the company may need to deal with unions locally to reduce its headcount substantially, as EDS' local workforce is heavily unionised. Nearly half of the reductions will occur in the United States.
In general, HP said the firm wanted to better align the combined company's structure with the operating model it had used over recent years. "In addition to making changes to its global workforce to better serve its services customers, HP has identified synergies in corporate overhead functions, such as real estate, IT and procurement," the company said.
The restructuring program is expected to result in annual cost savings of about US$1.8 billion, with that amount taking into account some reinvestment. The company will take a charge of US$1.7 billion related to the program.