Long after presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who left in 2005, laid off tens of thousands, the tech company continues to downsize. As it reached the final stage of splitting itself into two public corporations, HP cut 30,000 jobs this year, according to data provided to 24/7 Wall St. by Challenger Gray.
HP has gone through more transformations than almost any of the largest U.S. corporations. This may be because HP could never figure out what it was. Unfortunately, this identity problem still plagues the giant tech company. It bought personal computer (PC) company Compaq in 2001, which skeptics worried was a mistake because HP was already deeply into the PC industry.
HP’s focus on its large PC business prevented it from becoming an early entry player in the lucrative enterprise tech arena, where lots of money was made by providing technical services and consulting to other companies. In 2008, HP bought software services and tech consulting company EDS. At that time, HP claimed that the combined companies would have $38 billion in annual revenue and 210,000 workers. Three years later, HP management decided its move into tech consulting had not worked well. It fired 24,600 people to lower its expenses and make up for that mistake.
The restructurings after the Compaq and EDS transactions were not enough to boost profits. HP had yet another restructuring in 2012 and fired 29,000 more employees. This time the need to slash expenses was blamed on HP’s failure to move into the smartphone and portable device business. Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) products already had taken over that market, followed closely by South Korean electronics behemoth Samsung.
Hewlett-Packard recently has gone from being one company to two: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) and HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ). Ironically, one will be a PC manufacturer and the other a supplier of enterprise services and software. This iteration of HP in 2015 cost 30,000 people their jobs. Challenger Gray reports that HP is the company that has laid off the most people this year.