HP workers in AP wait for details on layoffs

The company's 36,000 employees based in regional offices will have to wait for another 18 months before details on workforce restructuring are released.

SINGAPORE--Employees at Hewlett-Packard (HP) Asia-Pacific will have to wait a while more before the full impact of the company's global restructuring plan trickles down to this region.

Until then, it is business as usual around the IT vendor's regional offices, even if it means having to bring in new hires, according to Cecilia Pang, vice president of corporate marketing, HP Asia-Pacific and Japan.

"Our business and go-to-market strategy in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region (including Japan) remain the same and we continue to be keenly focused on the growth plans we have in place," she said.

"We will continue to hire in areas that will help us to achieve better alignment to customer requirements, and where we need to invest in growing markets."

Pang said reductions in HP's workforce would vary by region and country, and based on an "all-rounded view" of the company's current and projected business strategies.

HP employs 150,000 people worldwide, of which 36,000 are located in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pang declined to say how many of the 14,500 pink slips would be handed out to employees in Asia, but noted that details of severance packages would depend on each country's labor policies and based on consultation with the affected employees, unions and legal counsels.

Organizational changes such as HP's plans to dissolve its Customer Solutions Group, are made with immediate effect, while the company's employee-related reforms are still being worked out, she added.

Pang could not give an exact timeframe on when the layoffs will take place. She did say however, that they will be spread over the next six quarters, affecting mostly employees from sales and other support functions such as IT, finance and human resource.

Martin Gilliland, research director at Gartner Asia-Pacific, noted that HP's restructuring is a "positive step forward" to improve the company's performance and customer relationship.

He explained that this move reflects "the same fundamental approach" that HP has been adopted consistently in the past year--"with no change in strategy, no change to products and initiatives, and no split of the business into separate entities".

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