Main image of article HP's Layoffs More Dramatic Than Thought

The axe has been falling at HP faster than anticipated.

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In May 2012, the company said it would cut 27,000 positions globally, 9,000 of them in the U.S. By that September, it revised that number upward to 29,000. Originally, HP said the layoffs would occur over two years as part of a “multi-year productivity initiative” aimed at simplifying the way it operates and allowing the company to be more innovative. However, in an SEC filing Monday, HP said it has already shed 22,700 employees and that the number of jobs cut could vary by 15 percent as it seeks $3 billion in savings on labor costs. HP originally said that although it expected a significant number of employees to accept buyout offers, a large number of layoffs was expected. Soon after, CEO Meg Whitman created a stir by saying the jobs of workers in India would be spared. HP is trying to shift from low-margin commodity technology to higher-margin offerings such as its Moonshot servers. There’ve even been hints that it will re-enter the smartphone market despite its abysmal experience with webOS. In August, HP released mixed quarterly results at the low end of its guidance, with improvements in cash and debt. Whitman has said that two years into its five-year turnaround plan, the company is on track. However, she’s acknowledged that year-over-year revenue growth is unlikely even in fiscal 2014. In another sign of its flagging reputation on Wall Street, the company has been dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Along with Bank of America and Alcoa, it’s being replaced based on its sagging stock price and the index committee’s desire to juggle the mix of companies. Goldman Sachs, Visa and Nike will take their place on the 30-company Blue Chip index.