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HP Plans To Cut Up To 4,000 Jobs Over Next 3 Years Amid PC Slump (bloomberg.com) 116

Yesterday, it was reported that the PC industry is on a two-year downslide as PC shipments have declined for eight consecution quarters. Today, HP announced it will cut between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs over the next three years due to the PC slump. Bloomberg reports: The company will eliminate positions across the board, Chief Executive Officer Dion Weisler said on Thursday. The comments came as HP held its analyst meeting in New York. The reductions could include 1,000 jobs being outsourced if the number of positions edges close to 4,000, Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak said. Weisler is searching for additional ways to drive profitability after his PC company gained independence last year from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which sells corporate tech gear. Earlier this year, Weisler said HP would need to accelerate a plan announced in 2015 to eliminate about 3,000 positions over three years. Instead, those reductions are to be completed this fiscal year. HP has about 50,000 employees now. HP said the newest job cuts will generate cost savings of about $200 million to $300 million annually starting in fiscal 2020. The Palo Alto, California-based computer maker expects to take $350 million to $500 million in charges in connection with the plan, and of that tool about $200 million will be labor costs, according to a regulatory filing.
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HP Plans To Cut Up To 4,000 Jobs Over Next 3 Years Amid PC Slump

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  • This is the consequence of the death of Moores Law. A lot of people won't be happy to hear this, but Moores Law is dead and won't be coming back. Digital computers are reaching an endpoint and there are no more leaps to be made technologically here. Essentially digitial computing is hitting a dead end. The computer you have today will look a lot like the one you will have 10 years from know. I know people will go on about 3D microchips, atomic transistors, exotic materials, but that isn't going to bring bac
    • Re:Moores Law (Score:5, Insightful)

      by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot AT keirstead DOT org> on Thursday October 13, 2016 @08:26PM (#53073215) Homepage

      Moore's law is not what is dying. What is dying is people's desire for "faster", at least on the personal front. I am typing this on a 4 year old MacBook air. Every single application I run on this thing launches in under a second. I can play HD video without lag. It runs anything I want to do fine because most of the heavy lifting nowadays is up in the cloud - so, why would I buy a new PC? This is the reality most people live in now.

      Until some big new wave of high-demand workloads on-premise arises (VR perhaps? Holography?), demand for PCs and Tabets will continue to fall off a cliff, because people simply don't need them. This has nothing at all to do with Moore's law at all - you could build a PC 2X as fast for 1/2 the cost, people still won't buy it if they don't have a use for it.

      • I'm trying to imagine OSX apps that do heavy lifting in the cloud. Siri maybe? What else?
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        People keep saying that, but I don't really buy it. People didn't really need a faster PC in the 00's either. But software capabilities were increased, and so were the requirements. Some computers had hardware MPEG2 decoders back then, but along came DivX and everyone used that, with software decoding, because people had or could buy fast enough PCs. Now we can decode 4k x265 in hardware, but what if a new format comes along? If PCs continued to improve, it wouldn't be a problem to do it in software. I'm su

        • Actually, no. In the past, when you had just single core PCs, whose main improvement was in MHz and internal caches, the OS and applications would grow a lot, making existing computers too slow. As an example, when Windows 95 came out, it would run on 486s fine, but you'd need a Pentium for it to run well. When it went to Windows 98, it would crawl on Pentiums: you'd need Pentium 2s. Also, Microsoft would also make noticeable improvements to Office - something that stopped @ Office 93.

          What changed wa

      • Re:Moores Law (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Thursday October 13, 2016 @10:39PM (#53073805) Homepage Journal

        My buddy bought a second hand, Xeon 16 physical, 32 logical core workstation with 96GB ram for under $1000. It's sandybridge era, but hot damn there's plenty of cores to spread the work around. We estimate that even though his workflow involves six different VMs, he won't need to upgrade his personal machine again for probably five years. I was considering buying one too, but I think I'll settle for a brand new i7 quad core XPS 15 with a 1050 GPU for ~$1800, which ought to last me four years or so. Maybe more. My 2012 era i5 thinkpad laptop (ivy bridge) is still faster than anything I need it for, but the screen needs updating, and to be larger as my eyesight starts to deteriorate as an adult and replaces my old "fire breathing" desktop from 2010. I'm a power user and barely find reason to upgrade my hardware, I can only imagine how long the average user can go between upgrades these days.

      • It's not that either. Or at least, that's not the whole answer. I think a large factor is that many people no longer need a PC at all to do basic personal computing, or take part in the information age. A smartphone or tablet will do just fine for many basic computing and communication tasks, and those are an order of magnitude easier for normal people to use.

        PCs are edging their way back to being gaming, specialist, and business machines. They're not dying, just finding a more specialized niche. Peopl

        • PCs are edging their way back to being gaming, specialist, and business machines. They're not dying, just finding a more specialized niche. People who are predicting the "death" of the PC are off the mark. They'll decline to a point, then stabilize as a much smaller industry than in its heyday

          Agreeing, a parallel is in music players. Back in the 70s/80s everyone wanted a "Hi-Fi" system with separate record player, cassete recorder/player, radio, amplifier and speaker boxes, including huge woofers if they had the cash and space. People had 10 % of their living room occupied by shelving and wiring for their Hi-Fi. Some enthusiasts still have such kit (often dedicating a whole room to it), and always will, but the general population has moved onto iPods and earphones.

          • WTF? That's a terrible analogy. No one has ever replaced a stereo system (the kind with separate speakers) with a portable music player and headphones. That's like replacing a car with a bicycle. They're both useful, but in different ways and for different purposes. Proof: get out your phone, plug in your headphones, put them in your ears, then play some song you really like for your friend who's in the same room with you. Whoops, they can't hear it! Then take out the headphones and play it on the si

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "Moore's law is not what is dying. What is dying is people's desire for "faster""

        Which has everything to do with the fact that CPU speed stopped doubling ever 2-3 years around 2006. We are into the 10-15% speed bump per processor generation if that and have been for the last 3-4 generations of CPU since the Core 2 duo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        What is dying is HP's ingenuity.

        Technology isn't a commodity that you can keep grinding the same old product year after year. A company that intends to be a company as an ongoing proposition looks beyond the next quarterly figures, looks towards new markets and works on how to leverage their assets to exploit those markets. And 4000 people is a pretty large asset.

        The problem is that bean-counters think of "Our People are our Greatest Asset" as some sort of cutesy slogan and that in reality their people are

      • Moore's law is not what is dying. What is dying is people's desire for "faster", at least on the personal front. I am typing this on a 4 year old MacBook air. Every single application I run on this thing launches in under a second. I can play HD video without lag. It runs anything I want to do fine because most of the heavy lifting nowadays is up in the cloud - so, why would I buy a new PC? This is the reality most people live in now.

        Until some big new wave of high-demand workloads on-premise arises (VR perhaps? Holography?), demand for PCs and Tabets will continue to fall off a cliff, because people simply don't need them. This has nothing at all to do with Moore's law at all - you could build a PC 2X as fast for 1/2 the cost, people still won't buy it if they don't have a use for it.

        Actually, what the GP wrote was not wrong in itself: semiconductors have long passed the point of diminishing returns where process shrinks would guarantee cost, and thereby price, reductions every generation. But as you point out, that's tangential to the underlying issue here: most people's computers are insanely overpowered ever since the core architecture replaced the MHz races, so that the only reason to buy a new PC or laptop is if one's current computer actually breaks down or stops working: it's ne

      • by PJ6 ( 1151747 )

        Moore's law is not what is dying. What is dying is people's desire for "faster", at least on the personal front.

        [citation needed]

        You give your own anecdote, I'll give you mine - I don't buy new hardware as often because the new stuff is nearly the same speed as it was 5 years ago.

        If they go back to giving us the huge speed increases we used to see, I'll start buying hardware every 2 years again.

        I am typing this on a 4 year old MacBook air. [...] It runs anything I want to do fine because most of the heavy lifting nowadays is up in the cloud

        What heavy lifting? What are you talking about? Guess you don't care about privacy.

        Also - you're using a Mac. Guess you do a lot of "coding" on that Mac of yours, huh.

    • Re:Moores Law (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Thursday October 13, 2016 @08:29PM (#53073221)

      Nah, its a consequence of Windows 10
      Nobody wants to buy a new desktop or laptop if it comes with a shitty OS

      • Well both of those things probably attributed to the issue, I think this probably has more to do with profitability and short term stock returns than any actual "trend" in PC sales.

        I heard very recently that HP was spinning off the most profitable part of the company into another one. I've heard that the largest investor of HP with something like a 6% stake is suing the company because he will be with the with the less profitable PC and Printer business which is being held up by the other. This could be sim

      • I'd buy a decent laptop if it came with Linux.

        But "decent" excludes HP.

    • Re:Moores Law (Score:4, Informative)

      by DanDD ( 1857066 ) on Thursday October 13, 2016 @09:28PM (#53073467)

      Your assertion that Moore's Law is dead is akin to a similar assertion over 100 years ago that "everything that can be invented has been invented", and that the patent offices should be closed.

      Go download Google's open source Tensorflow [tensorflow.org] (an AI Machine Learning library), and try some real machine learning on real-time sensors and data streams. You'll quickly realize the highest end workstations can't keep up.

      Now delve into a bit of devices physics. The easy gains in speed for silicon transistors have been made. There are still advances to be made, but different device physics that allow switching into the terahertz [nasa.gov] might just reset the clock on Moore's Law, which is just what's needed in all sorts of fields, such as AI.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      That's crazy.

      It seems to me there's still lots of room for improvement, if anything the CPU improvements have just moved bottlenecks elsewhere. CPU improvements pre-SSD were even hard to get more use out of without spending vast dollars on disk systems that matches what a couple of $300 SSDs can do today.

      My desktop workstation has 32 GB of memory and it's nothing to write home about, but 10 years ago that would have been some crazy expensive Xeon motherboard.

      Realistically, we've had it easy with simple har

    • This is the consequence of the death of Moores Law. A lot of people won't be happy to hear this, but Moores Law is dead and won't be coming back. Digital computers are reaching an endpoint and there are no more leaps to be made technologically here. Essentially digitial computing is hitting a dead end. The computer you have today will look a lot like the one you will have 10 years from know. I know people will go on about 3D microchips, atomic transistors, exotic materials, but that isn't going to bring back Moores Law. We have been spoiled for decades, but the party is over.

      I'm not 100% on board with that belief. The hardware aspects of computing may seem to be heading for a dead end because software demands on hardware have plateaued. Hardware innovation was in response to software demands. Absent software pushing the need for cutting edge hardware, hardware innovation will slow down. I have a computer that I built in 2010 or 2011 that is powered by an Intel i5 3.0 GHz processor. So, far my computer has and can handle any consumer software products on the market. This fact r

  • by alw53 ( 702722 ) on Thursday October 13, 2016 @08:35PM (#53073261)
    Note that "across the board" does not refer to the board of directors.
    • Someone has to turn off the lights when the whole thing closes down :)
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Or the teams that are on call to help the NSA after upgrades.
      Helping big gov expand more must be a growth sector needing private sector staff?
      Don't read up online about the polygraph tests or buy any books online about the polygraph tests on any network with any "hops" of conection.
      Step 1. Get a gov/mil security clearance to secure a job in the private sector for decades.
      Step 2. Install as much proprietary hardware and software as the gov/mil contract will allow. Ensure a lot of call backs are ne
    • I got a kick out out of the use of the word 'slump'. It suggests a temporary drop, as opposed to a permanent decline in demand for a new computer.
      • The problem is the industry took the numbers of PC that were sold during a bubble and based their businesses around those inflated numbers.

        For those that may be too young to remember from around 93- 05 there was a PC bubble caused by what was later called "the Mhz Wars". Now people didn't WANT to replace their expensive PCs every other year but because the speed of the CPU was jumping so rapidly and it was so easy to take advantage of MHz jumps a PC sold the year before would struggle to run the latest soft

        • Now people didn't WANT to replace their expensive PCs every other year

          Agreed. When I considered buying first PC there was a choice between 286's and 386's. 286 was regarded as perfectly satisfactory for things like word processing, spreadsheets, and simple games like Startrek and Space Invaders. For example IBM wasted massive man-years getting OS/2 to run on 286's even though the 386 was aready around. It was assumed that 386 would only ever be needed by power users and servers and that the 286 (with minor improvements) would be the processor for everyone else for ever.

          • I recently upgraded many of my systems to new mobos and cpus.

            the reason is that I can run fanless, now. there are many i5 and i7 chips that are 35w now (!!) and that is fully in the fanless catagory, by using a htpc case with heatpipes going to a large heatsink.

            also, new m.2 drives that speak nvme are worth having! 2000MB/sec on hdparm tests is nothing to sneeze at. I'm using to getting 500 on fast ssd's but with 2000 being the new number (samsung pro 950) its amazingly faster than anything before.

            that's

    • Meg Whitman has herself secure by having endorsed, and campaigning for Crooked Hilary. Expect Hilary to have a public position of condemning HP, and a private position of taking donations from Meg to her campaign as well as the Foundation.
  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Thursday October 13, 2016 @08:42PM (#53073281)

    I can't call them "layoffs" because that term is reserved for employees who are welcomed back at some point. Meg and her cronies also drastically reduced HPE's contribution toward benefits, particularly for the NewCorp spinoff people - meanwhile, the plans offered have become more expensive as well, with prescription copays as much as $50 for 30 day supplies. It's effectively a huge pay cut. They are daring the remaining employees to quit, by bringing morale to an all-time low with employee-hostile policies.

    Meg actually had the nerve to cheerfully tell the people watching/attending an all-employee town hall how great it was that they were moving so many jobs from high cost countries (i.e. US, Canada and Europe) to low cost countries. Sociopath much?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Mod parent up. (I want to comment on this article elsewhere)

      Meg actually did that all-employee town hall. I heard the figure of 60% bandied around in reference to how much of the total workforce they want to "best-shore" (politically correct code-word for "offshore").

      HP doesn't stand for Hewlett-Packard anymore
      HP now stands for Hindus-Phillipinos

      • Hindus are a religious group, not a religious nationality, such as the Jews. Besides, most of these jobs have gone to places like China/Taiwan, since we are talking PC manufacturing here, not IT offshoring (where your snide remark about India might make sense). Last I looked, Taiwan is split b/w Taoist, Buddhist and a whole host of myriad religions (not including Hinduism), while China is (unofficially) mainly Taoist/local religions followed by Buddhist.
    • If HP could do whatever HP does without hiring a single employee it would have been even better. Don't have to be 'sociopath' to understand that.

      • The sociopath part comes in management calling in employees to tell them how much better the company will do once they've been expended. If HP had never hired these people in the first place, there would be nothing wrong w/ it, since nobody would stand to get hurt by such a move. But by calling in people to tell them how their jobs are going offshore just to get done cheaper, they are being sadistic. In the main story though, the deal is not that PCs are not cheap enough: it is that new PCs have trouble

  • fire h1b's first!

  • How many employees do you actually need to sell PCs? If this was their servers I might agree.
    • HP doesn't "design/build/support" PCs and hasn't for decades.

      It's all outsourced. HP's PCs are built and designed by ODM (Original Design/Manufacture) companies.

      Wistron is one of their primary suppliers of laptop products. There are others (my HP desktop has an Asus motherboard).

      Their directed cost cuts in the ODM products have resulted in substandard quality and I won't buy a consumer grade PC from HP anymore, knowing what I know (I won't get in to detail).

      You get the behavior you measure and HP measures

  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Thursday October 13, 2016 @11:14PM (#53073911)

    It's pretty much a "day in the life" for HP to make people redundant. I'm convinced they only do it to boost their stock price.
    If you look at the HP Origins movie which they show to all new hires, HP brags of a company that cares about it's employees.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Excuse me while I feel violently ill. Maybe that used to be the case when Bill and Dave were alive..... but now....?
    How the mighty have fallen. It's very sad watching that video.

    The real problem for HP is that they now make "Made in China" crap and ride on their brand name and it's past glories. I can't think of a worse brand for computers now. Quality seems to be an afterthought in the drive to produce stuff that only barely just scrapes past the warranty period. Every HP I have come across has had some lingering issue with it. Dead and dying keyboards, broken hinges off the bottom of laptops, laptops that fall apart, random blue-screens on their business docks, glitchy displays, Windows 10 upgrades that cause serious display issues, their custom HP BIOS that blocks third party hardware from being used (forcing the consumer to endure phone support to buy HP parts at greatly inflated prices), their printers from barring 3rd party ink through firmware updates, etc. etc. etc. and that's just what I've seen.
    Sure all brands have the occasional bad egg, but HP seem to create more than others.

    And yet, HP equipment floods the market where I live, and given the choice... it's just cheap and nasty. ... and heaven help you if you have to deal with their support.

    So these days they're almost irrelevant in the consumer space. Microsoft pushed people away from Windows with Windows 8 and has been scrambling to bring them back. Then of course most computers these days are good enough for most people and don't need to be upgraded constantly.
    Then, you have iPads for most people who just want email and to surf the internet
    Then you have Macs for most people who want to do stuff rather than wrestle with a computer ...and then you have Windows PCs for most everyone else who hasn't got the memo yet - but yet relies on office and the like.
    That said, Windows computer issues keeps most home IT techs in business.... as they'd otherwise be working for HP.... if HP didn't send their jobs overseas.

    • For consumer stuff, iPads are more than adequate, and the role that HP used to play back in the day of even Lewis Platt is now played by Apple (or at least was, during Stevie). If one is buying a PC, doesn't make sense to go HP or Dell, when you can buy from the original makers like Acer or Lenovo or Asus. In fact, why not open things up to the likes of Compal, Quanta and Gigabyte?
  • Amazon is now hiring! Enjoy your pay cut!
    • Well, if you get past their impossible interview process....

      Don't bother applying unless you can answer the following vague. open-ended question that you could not possibly prepare for during the limited time of an interview:

      "If you were to build amazon.com today, how would you do it?"

  • by mallyn ( 136041 ) on Thursday October 13, 2016 @11:36PM (#53074005) Homepage
    Folks:

    I am a 63 years old young man and I think my brain may need a software upgrade :) Or do I need to step into a Tesla coil and give my self a control alt delete reboot? :)

    Who was HP? I have an HP 202C Audio Oscillator. It's one of those instruments that have the tubes (little glass bulbs that glow dimly in the dark) inside it and creates audio tones. I truly wonderful piece of test equipment. :)

    Now, please remind me, who are HP now? I don't think they make test equipment; isn't it computers now? Or is it printers? I forgot. Or do they only manufacture layoffs now?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As far as I can tell the history went something like this:

      HP renamed themselves Agilent and spun off the printer and PC business (Which never fit well with high end test gear) to an entity they called HP, this slight of hand was a good way to dump the deadwood on the board without them realising.

      Agilent then spun off the electronics test gear to a company called Keysight, leaving themselves the high end medical/chemical analysis business (This actually makes sense because the two are very different kinds of

    • they create software that time-bomb explodes at a future date and disabled somewhat-working hardware.

      I, like you, have agilent and old hp test gear at home and love it. but hp has stopped being the hp we knew about 20 years ago.

    • All the heavy duty instruments were spun off into Agilent.

  • HP and all the other manufacturers are caught in the perfect storm of:
    - PCs having enough power for almost anything an end user can throw at them (including games) for a much longer period of time
    - Tablets cannibalizing the "information consumer" side of the market
    - Nothing really exciting and new in the PC space for years

    The industry in general is hyping the cloud as well, which basically reduces PCs to thin clients...even though all those JavaScript front ends require at least a full processor core and 16

  • Gotta feel for the employees of Samsung's printer/MFP division, who HP purchased. I bet a LOT of them will get terminated also.
  • are mostly in America. IOW, this is just more BS.
  • Someone who is in the industry probably has more insight than myself, but if money into PC desktops goes down, will r&d also go down and slow future progression in technology such as VR? Seems to me the office environment could benefit from AR or VR.

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