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HP Layoff History

If you know someone dealing with possible retirement or layoff (WFR), send them this link. Practical advice from HP and HPE alumni who have gone through past cycles: https://www.hpalumni.org/leaving (Public website. No password required.)

HP Breakup. On Nov 1, 2015, the legal name of the Hewlett-Packard Company was changed to HP Inc. and a new, completely separate company – Hewlett Packard Enterprise (green-rectangle logo; no hyphen) – was spun out. Portions of HPE were later spun out into DXC and Micro Focus: HP Breakup 

HP Layoff Terminology:
WFR = "WorkForce Reduction"
EER = "Enhanced Early Retirement"
PRP = "Phased Retirement Program"
VCTP = "Voluntary Career Transition Program"
VSI = "Voluntary Severance Incentive"

HP Corporate Objectives and HP Way:

"...To provide employment opportunities for HP people that include the opportunity to share in the company's success, which they help make possible. To provide for them job security based on performance, and to provide the opportunity for personal satisfaction that comes from a sense of accomplishment in their work."

"...The benefits and obligations of doing business are shared among all HP people. ... HP people should personally accept responsibility and be encouraged to upgrade their skills and capabilities through ongoing training and development. This is especially important in a technical business where the rate of progress is rapid and where people are expected to adapt to change." 1966 revision. HP Way and Corporate Objectives 

1947-1969 – CEO David Packard:

"We made an early and important decision: We did not want to be a 'hire-and-fire' – a company that would seek large, short-term contracts, employ a great many people for the duration of the contract, and at its completion let those people go. This type of operation is often the quickest and most efficient way to get a big job accomplished. But Bill and I didn't want to operate that way. We wanted to be in business for the long haul, to have a company built around a stable and dedicated workforce." The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company (page 129)

1969-1978 – CEO Bill Hewlett:

"...a few years after we had started the company... we had to release our production manager. The impact of that decision is still with us, and in subsequent years has led us to make every effort to find an appropriate niche for a loyal employee." 1982. Bill & Dave's Memos (page 40)

HP Personnel VP John Doyle: "What will really change the make-up of the company some day is when we cease to grow in employment at the annual rate of 10-15 percent. Our average employee age is still in the mid-thirties and only going up one year every four to five years. When we are a fully mature slow-growth company, the average will go up faster."  Sept 1978 issue of Measure

1978-1992 – CEO John Young:

"Sometimes people use the term 'job security' mistakenly... They often infer that if they accept a position with HP, they have a particular job and are secure in that job forever... HP's commitment to employees is tied directly to continued, satisfactory job performance. The best way to describe HP's practice is 'employment security based on performance.' Assuming HP employees continue to do a good job in whatever job they have, the company will continue to make every effort to ensure that they will always have a job at HP... though it may not be the job for which they were hired." May 1984 issue of Measure

"1991... was a tough one. Many jobs became 'excess' and redeployment meant some were moved to distant cities. We realigned and reduced levels of management. Approximately 2,850 U.S. employees left HP as part of the Enhanced Early Retirement and Voluntary Severance Incentive programs...

"...fundamental changes in our business, not just the business cycles we experienced in the past... dramatic hardware-technology advances... the movement toward open systems and more commodity-like products. As the price/performance ratio of our products continues to improve, we need to sell many more units each year just to keep our revenue constant...

"...quite unlike the period in the early '70s that some people often use for comparison. At that time, a temporary recession led HP to introduce the nine-day fortnight, in which employees took every other Friday off without pay... prompted some people to ask if we're addressing them in ways consistent with the HP Way.

"Dave, Bill and I have discussed this question a number of times and we've concluded the answer is a very clear 'yes.' We simply have to make the changes necessary to keep our organization in balance and preserve its vitality.

"This is the only way we can achieve long-term security and opportunity for our employees. One only has to look around the industry to see what has happened to those who have ignored this lesson..."

Nov-Dec 1991 issue of Measure

1999-2005 – CEO Carly Fiorina:

"That's why the merger was such a great idea. We could decrease the cost structure by billions and billions of dollars. In the course of my time there, we laid off over 30,000 people." Information Week Oct 16, 2006.

2011-2015 – CEO Meg Whitman:

"...how do you keep up with this next generation of IT and how do you bring people into this company for whom it isn't something they have to learn, it is what they know. ...we need to return to a labor pyramid that really looks like a triangle where you have a lot of early career people who bring a lot of knowledge who you're training to move up through your organization, and then people fall out either from a performance perspective or whatever..." –Meg Whitman, 2013 HP Securities Analyst Meeting

David Packard: "Labor is not a commodity to be bought and sold in the marketplace." 1958. Bill & Dave's Memos (page 113)

Question? Email: info@hpalumni.org(Rev Feb 21, 2024)

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