H-P, which is headed by former National Cash Register CEO Mark Hurd, buried the cutback news in a terse ten-paragraph release called “HP Announces Plans to Integrate EDS,” which it acquired in August.
The opening paragraph optimistically told how HP “will unveil a strategic plan to establish a powerful position in the evolving enterprise market.” That’s knock your socks off good stuff. Hurd huffs in paragraph four that H-P “now has the broadest technology capabilities in the market to meet customer needs today and in the future.” More good stuff. Let’s give Charles Schwab a call.
Shifty Hurd delivers the hammer in paragraph seven with the nugget that 24,600 staffers will soon hit the road, leaving readers scratching their heads. If H-P is so well-positioned, why must so many get the ax?
What’s worse, half of those booted employees are currently working in the U.S. And guess what? Half of those cut will be replaced over the next three years. In other words, H-P is laying the groundwork for the old switcheroo. It is firing well-paid information tech staffers here, and replacing them with lower-paid workers overseas. Hello, India.
Some media wags such as the Wall Street Journal’s Dennis Berman express little concern about the numbers of people soon to lose their jobs on Wall Street. In fact, Berman today called the bloodbath a “positive thing.” To him, “It encourages the country to get back to creating, building and doing, rather than shuffling paper and trading it.”
To a large degree, Berman is right. This blogger has no sympathy for the investment bankers who have transformed Manhattan into their own Shangri-Lai, a super-affluent zone of plenty that excludes the vast unwashed. He feels very sorry for people like Elizabeth Datis, a 45-year-old Lehman administrative assistant and Bronx mother of three teenage boys, who told the WSJ that she is worried about her future and prospects of severance pay.
America’s leadership in the world’s financial market is officially kaput. Good riddance. London has surpassed New York as the globe’s financial hub. That financial stage is now shared by Dubai, Beijing and Singapore.
America's future is based on hi-tech innovation and the ability to create value-added products that the world wants. That is the way forward. The H-Ps of this country are supposed to be America’s “ace in the hole,” or trump cards in the game of globalization. That’s why the lousy outsourcing deal announced by Silicon Valley’s leader is so disappointing.