Tuesday 16 July 2019

Writing has been on the wall since cuts warning last year

The HP plant in Leixlip
The HP plant in Leixlip

Allison Bray

The writing has been on the wall for some time over the future viability of HP Inc.

Last October, the electronics manufacturer announced that it was expecting to cut between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs by 2019 as part of a global restructuring plan.

This was a second major wave of cuts at the company after it moved to reduce its global staff count by between 25,000 and 30,000 due to falling demand in the personal computer market - and a greater reliance on smartphones.

HP split two years ago into two new companies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and HP Inc.

HPE is a company that focuses on technology infrastructure and services, while HP Inc is a personal computing and printing company.

Both companies have a presence in Ireland. The company employs 50,000 people worldwide.

It is understood the company employs about 4,000 staff in Ireland. Most of those employed here work in manufacturing, R&D, customer support and marketing.

But there was no indication from management when the cuts were first announced last autumn that staff at the Leixlip plant might be affected. Although the cuts were expected to save the company between $200m and $300m starting in 2020, the company said it would cost between $350m and $500m in restructuring charges.

The company said that ultimately the amount of jobs cut would be dependent on the outcome of key outsourcing decisions.

HP Inc said it would also look to ease the culling by placing existing employees in outsourced roles.

The announcement expected from HP today will be a further blow for the Kildare town in particular.

Multinational chip manufacturer Intel last spring announced cuts of staff at its plant but would not reveal how many jobs were actually lost.

A spokesman for the company at the time said details "are being confined to specific managers and individuals affected".

Irish Independent

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