More job losses will hit ailing PC maker Hewlett-Packard (HP) in the immediate years ahead, purportedly to realise more saving amid the prevailing soft environment in the global personal computer market.
About 29,000 HP employees will be retired soon, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday, adding up to the planned 27,000 job cuts that HP chief executive Meg Whitman had announced earlier in May.
Ms Whitman, according to ZDNet, termed the firm's unfolding strategy as part of multi-year restructuring efforts that will "simplify business processes, accelerate innovation and deliver better results for customers, employees and stockholders."
Already, some 8500 HP workers have accepted the early retirement plans dangled by the company, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday, and more are expected to avail of similar separation packages through 2014.
Near-term, the whole strategy will cost HP $US3.7 billion, which will cover much of the compensation payments that departing employees will bring with them, but in return the company is projected to achieve savings of up to $US200 million each year from the rolling job cuts that will shave off close to 10 per cent from the 350,000-strong HP workforce.
Ms Whitman also unleashed other austerity measures as she attempts to find the correct formula in steering the giant computer and printer maker through market challenges that were mainly generated by the changing landscape of the tech world.
HP and most of PC makers have been struggling to keep up with the exploding mobile computing trend, in which tablets and smartphones were the preferred gadgets by global consumers.
The mobile devices rolled out by HP have failed to measure up with the current industry standards that were mostly coming from Apple and Samsung, leaving the two firms in a virtual monopoly of the tablet and smartphone markets while the rest scramble to catch up.
The best hope for HP and other PC makers at the moment is the impending release of Microsoft's multi-platform Windows 8, which is expected to power most of the mobile handsets outside of the Apple universe in the quarters and years ahead.
Analysts, however, have projected that it may take a while for Windows 8 devices to actually make a dent, which is a reality fully embraced by HP and similar companies.
While it waits for the nascent Windows ecosystem to gradually build up, HP thought it best to venture into enterprise business and software consultancy in order to keep the cash flowing in and save as much as possible.
The long-term goal for Ms Whitman is to halt HP's losses and save up $US3 billion while she tweaks the company's overall operations and make it a lean and mean machine by the time Windows is more competitive to match the muscles of Apple and Android handsets.
Analytic firms like IDC have been predicting that Microsoft's new OS would likely become a major force if not the top platform by 2015, a reading that HP and other PC makers would love to see realisation much sooner.
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