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HP Cuts Workforce By 5%, Looks To Probe GM Hires 304

Posted by samzenpus
from the picking-teams dept.
dcblogs writes "Hewlett-Packard's reduced its workforce last year by 17,800 employees, more than half-way to its restructuring goal. But some key IT workers left unexpectedly and have taken jobs with HP customer, General Motors. GM, which outsourced its IT for years to EDS, announced plans last year to in-source its IT. HP acquired EDS in 2008. On Nov. 30, 18 employees of HP's Global Information Technology Organization in Austin 'resigned en masse and without notice' and 'immediately began working for General Motors in Austin in GM's new IT Innovation Center,' according to court papers. HP is asking the court for approval to depose some of the exiting workers to determine whether employment contracts were violated. 'HP expects that additional resignations will follow as the departed employees will likely seek to build out their teams by filling in with subordinate employees from HP,' the company said."
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HP Cuts Workforce By 5%, Looks To Probe GM Hires

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  • HP is like IBM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @09:40PM (#42457229)

    HP is like IBM, they have a reputation of being a company that decades ago you wanted to work for. However like IBM their present reputation is that of a company that you only work for because you /have/ to work for them. Nobody wants to work for HP anymore, and they bloody well know it.

    They are wholly dependent upon the bad economy for keeping employees and the moment the economy perks up they know damn well they are looking at a mass exodus of talent. This is a shot across the bow aimed at internal employees and doesn't have a damn thing to do with GM.

    HP will spend millions more in expenses for lawsuits to send the message across than it ever would have to spent to retain these same employee by treating them right to begin with and consider the money well spent. A telling sign on these things are really viewed is how the accounting is listed on taxes and investor statements for the government.

  • by dtjohnson (102237) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @10:43PM (#42457553)

    Orignally, they started by making world-standard test equipment. Now, that would be Fluke. Later, they provided high-quality 'mini' computer-and-terminal systems to medium-size businesses. That business is long-gone. They used to make high-quality desktop computer systems. Now, they still 'sell' computers but they don't seem to have much to do with the hardware and software but just put the H-P badge on plastic junk. Asus is probably the rough equivalent, now, of what HP used to be in computers. In printers, HP invented 'inkjet' printers but have long-since lost their lead to Canon and Epson. They invented the first 'laserjet' relatively inexpensive desktop laser printer but have lost most of that business as well. So what exactly is HP's business these days? Calculators? I guess they still sell a couple models of those but their products were designed decades ago and are probably pretty much legacy business now. As a company, HP is the victim of years of horrible mismanagement at the top. Even if we assume that they have somehow, against all odds, managed to develop some actual management ability from within, can a company as broken as HP ever recover? The workers jumping to GM are just carving out a little piece of what's left of HP for themselves to preserve their jobs. Can anyone blame them?

  • Re:So.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by undeadbill (2490070) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @11:39PM (#42457949)

    HP should be so lucky that these people left instead of, say, unionizing. Of course, they could be compelled to return, in which case unionizing might be their only recourse. Texas is a pretty messed up state for worker rights, and you can literally sign away your right to work in that state as part of an employment agreement, and it would be legally enforced there.

    My own Texas employment experience, which was thankfully brief (under two weeks)- A 'very large travel company' from TX acquired a startup I worked for in CA, and tried to get me to sign agreements that literally sold away all previous, current, and future intellectual property rights to the new company in perpetuity. They also wanted me to give them the right to know everything about my past, my political affiliations past and present, and to have their approval to become politically involved in anything in the future. They also wanted me to agree not to work in my industry again if I left employment, even if they fired me. Apparently, this is all legal in TX, where courts have already decided that ANY agreement between employer and employee is legal and binding, and that there is no concept of duress or pressure to sign. None of that is legal in CA. I walked out because I refused to sign, they refused to negotiate, and then they made noises about suing me for having been employed without signing their agreement. Ultimately, they screwed up my ISO shares six ways from Sunday as a way of getting back at me.

    My experience was an eye opener to how many states operate, and it made me very thankful to be in a state where employees can't be forced to sign away their rights in exchange for employment.

  • Re:So.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by undeadbill (2490070) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:05AM (#42459151)

    That, and most people never really read their hiring agreements or workplace policies. Not every company is like HP or the one I used as an example, but as an employee, you can be over a barrel if you don't have other options lined up in a state that doesn't have a lot of protections. Mostly, what I wrote was for the benefit of people who either don't have to sign these kinds of agreements or those who would never be bound to them so they can understand just how screwed those HP employees may be right now. Not a lot of Californians really understand how employment agreements factor in choosing where to live. Texas, Arizona, Washington State, FL, NY all have much more limited employee protections than CA in regards to hiring contracts.

    As far as Texas goes, I have nothing against it. It's a friendly state, and I've liked visiting there. I have friends out there, they work for good companies that don't consider their staff chattel, and would consider Austin as a place to relocate if I were running my own business.

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