Group-wide restructuring: HP eliminates at least 450 jobs in Germany

HP-Deutschlandchef Volker Smid erwartet keine betriebsbedingten Kündigungen.
HP Germany boss Volker Smid does not expect operational redundancies.
Photo: IDG Business Media GmbH

This job cut is the first of two steps in Group-wide action, said Hewlett-Packard's (HP) CEO in Germany, Volker Smid, on Thursday news agency dpa. The extent to which further jobs in the service sector will be eliminated in a second step is still to be examined. This will take several weeks, said Smid. HP currently has 10, 300 employees in Germany, 4, 000 of them in Böblingen near Stuttgart.

The job cuts in Germany should be made as socially acceptable as possible, said Smid. Some employees are to be placed in new positions through training. In addition, programs for a voluntary departure from the company are planned. "We do not currently plan redundancies, " said the manager. Most of the job cuts are scheduled for the end of 2013.

The management in Böblingen met on Thursday with the representatives of the works council in the economic committee. Further discussions with the general works council are planned in the next week.

HP decided in May to cut 27, 000 jobs worldwide by 2014. This has recently increased to 29, 000. Background is a general slowdown in PC business due to global economic uncertainties and the increasing popularity of tablet computers and smartphones. There are also contradictory management decisions. The short-term CEO Léo Apotheker, who had come from SAP, wanted to part with the PC sector and instead opt for software. This course has since been revised again. In the past fiscal quarter, the industry leader posted a bottom line loss of $ 8.9 billion.

The company based in Palo Alto, according to data from the market research firm Gartner, is only marginally at the top of PC manufacturers worldwide. The Chinese climber Lenovo is hot on the heels of the Americans. In the second calendar quarter, HP held a market share of 14.9 percent (down from 16.9 percent); Lenovo improved to 14.7 percent (from 12.7 percent). According to Gartner, the US company has already lost its leading position in Germany, falling behind in third place behind Acer and Lenovo.

HP not only manufactures computers and printers, but also offers a wide range of software solutions, such as the cloud, providing IT services of all kinds over the Internet. On the company's situation in Germany, Smid said HP was "very solid and solid". (Dpa / tc)