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HP personnel bailing fast – not enough lifeboats to go round

The world is still a little stunned by the declaration by HP, world's number one PC company, that it's not able to thrive in the PC market. In most cases, when a major corporation decides to amputate a section of its business, many of the employees in that area are re-absorbed into other departments. How will it work with HP? KitGuru spoke with an inside source to get the inside track.

From the outside, we'd imagined that HP was one huge, happy family. When things go wrong for one member of the family, the rest  pull around and provide comfort and support. Right now, inside HP, that does not seem to be the way things are working.

It seems that each division is exactly that, a division, running as separately as its profit and loss account will let it.

We've been told that once HP announced that it was sick and tired of the PC business, there was an instant division among the staff. One half rushed to create new CVs and pound friends for recommendations on LinkedIn in preparation for a series of interviews.

The second group, the senior staff who have been with the company for a longer period of time, began consulting on just how good a severance package could be negotiated with HP HQ.

In both cases, positive communication about HP as a business effectively stopped in the consumer PC teams.

Against a backdrop of negative announcements by the board and staff searching for new roles elsewhere, HP's ferocious price cuts have created a significant bump in demand.

Just days before HP announced its massive change of direction, its UK Managing Director, Nick Wilson, was quoted as saying that he “Needs skilled people but does not want to spend three years training someone” in an interview with Computer Weekly. Ironically, those trained people are now readily available and already sitting in HP offices.

HP's Nick Wilson (right) back in the days when he could relax around the Ryder Cup, contemplating wrapping his hands around a stiff shaft and giving the balls a good whacking

KitGuru says: Right now, there must be some stakeholders who are questioning whether HP's withdrawal was the right decision. Some of them will be shareholders, while others will be HP middle management – looking out at a market where demand is at best level and most companies are as full of staff as they need to be. Tough times indeed for HP peeps. We genuinely wish them luck.

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