I couldn't help but spot the irony in the fact that in the same week that HP announced it would be laying off approximately 15,000 employees, it also announced it would be taking on one new employee who will be getting a compensation package with an estimated worth of $15.3 million per year. If each of those employees made $1020 per year (they don't) and the package was a one year package (it isn't), the "exhange" would have been an even swap. What single person can command such a package? Perhaps proving that IT really does matter (Nicholas Carr, eat your heart out), the golden boy was Michael Dell's superstar CIO Randy Mott. Dell's information technology -- a setup that tighly ties direct sales to supply chain management and cash flow -- has played a crucial role in the company's Wall Street darling-like success. Mott, 49, spent 22 years at Wal-Mart before joining Dell. Two years ago, Mott questioned the viability of Unix. Now, he'll be working for a company that not only says its still committed to Unix (HP has officially refuted Sun COO Jonathan Schwartz's assertion that HP-UX is getting the axe), but to other operating systems such as HP's OpenVMS as well.
The hardest hit of HP's ranks, according to News.com's Michael Singer and Dawn Kawamoto, will be its IT sales and services groups. Given Dell's direct model and IBM's sale of its PC operation to Lenovo, those being released may have a tough time finding work with another Tier 1 vendor. Meanwhile, Dell and HP have been at each other's throats as of late. HP, still stinging from former CEO Carly Fiorina's inability to improve shareholder value during her tenure (which included an acquisition of Compaq), is looking for ways to extract big success out of more than just its digital imaging and printing group (about HP's only real bright spot). The company's new CEO Mark Hurd is wasting no time in his quest to establish a new foundation for success at HP. Meanwhile, Dell is making several surgical strikes of it's own against HP. Earlier this year, the company hired HP server exec Brad Anderson and mobile exec Alex Gruzen. And, while Hurd will probably have to rob the successful Peter (it's imaging group) to boost up Paul (the rest of HP), Dell is wasting no time in trying to neutralize HP's remaining defenses by attacking HP's command of the printing and imaging market. Last month, Dell introduced a $99 laser printer -- a move that caused at least one analyst to say "Dell is going to screw everybody."