24,600 Folks to Get Their Papers
When HP acquired EDS, you had to wonder whether they did it for the talented employees, the EDS data centers, the customer base or the outsourcing contracts. Mark Hurd's move this week pretty much says it wasn't for the employees.
The firm will cull some 24,600 people from its ranks. Most of the personnel will come from EDS with half from the United States (source: Tribune News Services - See "HP to slash 24,600 jobs over 3 years").
When Hurd took over as HP CEO, he culled 15,000 personnel then. Adding another 24,600 to that number sure isn't going to make HP the #1 people oriented firm in America. Hurd's legacy may put him right up there with Chainsaw Al Dunlap. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
Competitors of HP may want to use this news as an opportunity to raid the firm of its best and brightest. Great services professionals like to work for companies that value them, promote them and enhance their careers. Service firms that cull almost 40,000 people may make some folks a bit concerned about their careers. Layoffs in a service firm can be toxic and will likely trigger some additional, unintended brain drain.
HP needs to identify who its most valuable and valued services employees are and take active steps to retain them. You can bet headhunters are calling, employees are polishing up resumes and people are starting to make discrete inquiries in their personal networks.