Key EDS exec exits building

EDS has lost one of its most senior Australian executives as the IT services giant continues to suffer turmoil amongst local staff due to job cuts associated with its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard.

EDS has lost one of its most senior Australian executives as the IT services giant continues to suffer turmoil amongst local staff due to job cuts associated with its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard.

Rick Atkinson has been with EDS since at least 2002, overseeing the company's NSW and Queensland infrastructure-based services, including a budget of US$150 million and 660 staff, as a service delivery executive. However he has now joined rival firm Dimension Data.

The new role Atkinson took up with Dimension Data — a company that has so far escaped ZDNet.com.au's layoffs list and has insisted it was still hiring — was its national outsourcing services manager.

A Dimension Data spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au that Atkinson would be reporting to its director of services, Anthony Stevens. "[Atkinson] is responsible for both managing our existing outsourcing contracts from a delivery perspective, as well as the growth of our outsourcing business," the spokesperson said.

An EDS Australia spokeswoman declined to comment.

An HP Asia Pacific representative last week told ZDNet.com.au that the new entity had almost completed its merger strategy, which will see HP's Technology Solutions Group group absorb EDS Australia.

Part of that merger strategy will see HP-EDS locally cut of 7.5 per cent — or around 450 staff — from its 6,000 combined workforce, in line with global plans announced shortly after the merger.

HP-EDS cut 75 staff in October and has since been forced to deal with the emotional trauma that staff have faced over the proposed and current changes.

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