August 18, 2008

Press Reports Possible HP Cuts in Oregon; No Word on Boise

By Hagadone, Zach

As rumors spread that Hewlett-Packard plans a wave of job cuts in the wake of its printer division reorganization, the company is being characteristically tight-lipped.

Spokesman Scott Stalla wouldn't comment on the record about the possibility of job cuts or how they could affect the firm's 3,000+ Boise workers, but did provide the Idaho Business Review with HP's official statement:

"As a company, HP is focused on identifying and pursuing growth opportunities and maximizing efficiencies to create best-in-class solutions for our customers. Consistent with this strategy, the Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) will continue to consider changes that will serve to maximize its growth opportunities, to invest resources most appropriately and to ensure customer satisfaction, market success, and shareholder value."

Citing internal documents and accounts of company meetings, The Oregonian in Portland, Ore. reported on Monday that the changes under consideration at HP include the elimination of as many as 300 jobs from campuses in Corvallis and Vancouver, and suggested its Corvallis InkJet manufacturing operation would be shut down, its work sent overseas and its budget divvyed up among other divisions of the company.

The Imaging and Printing Group reorganization became public in late June, with HP consolidating its five IPG groups into three, effective Aug. 1. Traditionally among the company's most profitable businesses, HP's printing business accounts for about 27 percent of its revenue and about 42 percent of its operating profits, according to analysts.

Company representatives said the reorganization would be applied to its operations worldwide and would consolidate consumer services and hardware into one group, and enterprise services and hardware into another - streamlining efficiency and enabling the company to better build revenue in each.

Shortly after news of the reorganization broke it was also made public that Boise-based senior vice president of the company's LaserJet printing business, Nor Rae Spohn, would retire effective Nov. 1. HP representatives said Spohn's retirement was not connected to the restructure and that layoffs were not expected.

"It's not a layoff exercise; it's not a negative response to something bad that happened. It was literally an evolution of our transformation [to a service orientation]," company spokeswoman Alyson Griffin told IBR in June.

Credit: Zach Hagadone

(Copyright 2008 Dolan Media Newswires)

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