HP denies it will close its operations in Poland

After a $108m settlement with the DOJ earlier this week, HP has refuted rumours in the Polish press that it was planning to radically overhaul its operations in the country.
Written by Michiel van Blommestein, Contributor

The settlement Hewlett-Packard struck with US authorities on Wednesday was preceded by a flurry of media speculation around the company's future in Poland. However, HP has denied any suggestions that it will be putting an end to its operations in the country.

HP is one of a number of IT companies that were the subject of a Polish probe into what has been described as the largest corruption case in the post-communist history of the country.

The so-called Infoafera covers tenders for IT systems for police forces and government agencies with an estimated combined value of PLN 1.5bln (€375m). So far, 41 people from a variety of tech companies and public sector bodies have been charged with alleged activities discovered by the probe, which is investigating incidents spanning between 2007 and 2010.

Even before Wednesday's announcement that HP will pay the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a combined sum of $108m for corruption in three countries — Poland, Russia, and Mexico — rumours  swirled in the Polish media about whether the IT giant will vastly downscale its operations in the country as a result. 

Polish broadsheet Dziennik Gazeta Prawa (the newspaper that also broke the news first that HP would admit to wrongdoings as a result of the probe) suggested HP is considering disbanding its Polish arm, stripping it of executive decision making powers and downgrading its operations to purely local sales.

"We would ... brought under the wing of another unit, for example the Slovak one, that is not subject of accusations of these nature," the newspaper cited an anonymous HP employee as saying.

However, HP has confirmed that the rumours are untrue. It said in a statement to ZDNet that there are no plans to close HP's Polish subsidiary or its service centres in Poland.

"HP is still doing business in Poland and offering its customers the highest quality products and services," the statement read. "There are no plans to close HP's company in Poland or HP’s Global Business Centers which are based in Poland."

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