back to article HP tightens financial belt for 'tough' Q3

Move over beleaguered Cisco Systems, here comes Hewlett-Packard. Newly minted Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker is looking for HPers to tighten the belt and use good judgment aimed at generating profits as they pursue sales in the company's third fiscal quarter of 2011, which began on May 1. According to a report in the Wall …


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  1. Robert E A Harvey

    Look Here, HP

    You've got to grow a pair. You need to speculate to accumulate.

    Stop selling meeee-toooo laptops & dull desktops. You own some very clever technologies, get them out there. You can't lead by copying.

    WebOs - where are the products? Come good on your promises & ship it in every PC. Where are the tablets? Come to that, the phones are pretty rare too.

    Printers - stop selling winprint ink fountains, that come with bloatware drivers. Where is the nextgen PCL that would let windows, unix, mac, talk to printers & all enjoy resolution enhancement? interpolated scanning? How about some real innovation? perhaps a coating head that would allow high-quality photos to be inserted into pages? How about printing photos at the same speed as text?

    *nix - if anyone can ship non-windows computers, you can

    Instruments - what happened to oscilloscopes, RF test gear, data loggers? What about a can-bus interface in every laptop? firewire based data acquisition? zigbee in laptops?

    Displays - what about a desktop size retina display? Daylight projectors? Interactive walls?

    Innovation - voice & gesture control, dab radio in laptops, pervasive domestic networking with transparent data shadowing? install an application on one HP and it appears on all? domestic and office terminal server systems with zero setup? (homecloud?)

    Just make a splash with the webOS tablet, ok?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look Here, HP

      >Instruments - what happened to oscilloscopes, RF test gear, data loggers?

      That's Agilent, mostly.

  2. Hardcastle the ancient

    HP - the GM of the computer industry

    And, like the car industry, "There is never a crisis so bad it can't be solved by producing better product".

    Make summat good, HP, and people will beat a path to your door.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Good Old Days

    I was fortunate to work for HP when it was still under the day to day control of Bill and Dave. The oscilloscopes, medical equipment etc were hived off to a new company (Agilent - which spells a rude body part if you re-arrange the letters!), and the old HP name retained the computing business. That separation of technologies was a major turning point for the company, whether for good or bad I wouldn't want to say - HP originated in the oscillator business and moved towards computers with the 21xx seried in the mid-60's, before going 100% computer business around the turn of the century.

    As I see it a problem for today's HP is that they are slugging it out with other companies who want to be on the computer bandwagon, and they don't have a presence in other technology areas like they once had. That had been a major differentiator for them during the late 20th century, which they have lost.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: The Good Old Days

      A few years back an ex-hp bod explained what he saw as the main reason he quit hp, and it was the management. All secondhand, but this is what he told me. He said that cost-control became King, and all managers and team leaders were told that making savings on budget was to be a top priority, and would count most towards whether they got an annual bonus. They also switched bonus payments, travel, training and salaries from central budgets to individual team budgets, so it began to be in the team leader's own interest to restrict training, travel, not give raises by fudging performance assessments, and try and avoid paying a bonus to their staff if the team leader wanted to hit his savings target and get a bonus. Of course, the next layer of management was also working to minimise their spending by trying to avoid paying any team leader bonuses or payrises to those below them, and the managemet above them acted likewise. He said this self-replicating (and self-defeating) idea went right up through the UK organisation, leaving lots of unhappy staff and middle-management, and just the top layer happy at the "savings" they could pass back to the States. I was most amused at that as a similar racket had been going on at our company for years before the ex-hp'r joined!

      Looks like a universal standard - when the beancounters win, everyone loses! Now, I'm off for a team meeting at our alternate venue (AKA the pub).....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    knew it was coming soon

    as soon as one sees the magic phrase "our people are our most important asset" , somewhere on corporate advertising, one expects slash, burn, sack and destroy following quickly. Never failed to be an effective warning in government or private sector. Given the flood of fleeing senior staff lately, it is going to be a doozy of a cutback process. Time to press the Esc button, like so many others.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Slash and Burn again then

    Are you sure we have a new CEO? Sounds remarkably like the last one.

    Ironic, given that we were recently told that "the phase of workforce reduction is now over".

    Pint of beer because with inflation + no pay rises for years, we won't be able to afford a pint soon.

    1. HP Cynic


      By the end of this winter it looks like IT Professionals won't be able to afford food or fuel.

  6. HP Cynic

    Oh dear

    This article passed me by but since the published date we've had yet another round of Voluntary Redundancies (with the usual threat of possible Compulsory ones) announced. I think these come around every quarter now.

    Matt's right about the cost cutting and non-raises based on fudged performance ratings. There's a few token non-consolidated bonuses awarded each year but the vast majority of staff here have not even had a cost-of-living payrise for years. Training is a complete myth unless it's the compulsory Ethics nonsense we have to take yearly (the last 2 just after a CEO / SVP has been caught fiddling his expenses and fiddling with their staff).

    Perhaps the top execs can the start cost-cutting start by reducing their massive salaries and handing back their giant bonuses.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I thought Hurd had gone?

    After this Loe guy "promised" the workforce that the era of no pay increases was over he seems to have been reading up on the Hurd workforce management manual. He sounds just the same - "No pay rises, we're broke, and anyway where are all the upper management bonuses going to come from if we give you a pay rise?" Oh, and HP have just announce another 500 heads are to go in the UK.

    I left HP earlier this year - I had just about enough of that company, 3% pay rise in 9 years, cuts in benefits, pension contributions going up and up with reduced final payout, etc, etc...

    It's sad for me to see HP continuing on the Hurd path, I know of many, many fine, hardworking people who are still there feeling they are still being royally screwed by the likes of Leo whathisname and the likelyhood of change receeding into the distance.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our employees are our most valuable asset

    When Bill and Dave were running the show the employees were indeed respected as the most valuable asset that the company had. If the people that came after Bill and Dave had kept to that belief then the technological world both inside and outside of HP would be a much better place. However as usual the bean counters could only see piles of cash, so they traded the employees for bigger cash mountains, and in doing so destroyed a company which had once been the darling of the electronics industry.

    Customers keep coming back if you keep them happy - and keeping them happy means that the company employees have to be happy. Sadly HP have now failed this test and will forevermore continue to see their once loyal customers slipping away.

  9. Man Mountain

    I must be the exception!

    I work for HP and if you listen to these posts I'm the only happy one here. But I suggest that this is a case of the unhappy but vocal minority. I work in sales so I should be having a tough time of it but I'd say confidently that morale in my team is the highest it has been for a few years. Yes we have just stopped hiring (new guys have started in the past month though) but that is after the team has doubled in size in the past 18 months. And judging by the significant (20+) number of guys we have picked up from IBM, and maybe 10 or so from Oracle, EMC and NetApp, is life that good elsewhere? Especially given the almost daily headhunter calls we all get. What company, or even household for that matter, isn't needing to 'tighten its belt' at the moment so I am not sure if that should really be big news. I've not had a payrise in a few years, that's true. But I have a job! And it's still a well paid one at that. I doubt there are many people working in IT who are genuinely struggling with the 'cost of living'! And if you think you are then you need a healthy dose of perspective! It seems that a lot of people that complain hark back to when Bill & Dave were in charge. Well I am sorry but the world is a very different place since those days!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: I must be the exception!

      You are in sales ? why don't you share the story of how your quotas have been restructured ? Anyway most non-sales workers in support engineering and other drab roles have lesser opportunity to make any extra money by doing well.

      And I think you are the exception - check out the best employer rankings.

  10. Man Mountain

    Quotas restructured?

    Yeah they have been restructured - for the better! Meaningless measures have gone, gates that meant some people didn't earn any money at all have gone. The current sales plan is the most sensible one I have been on in 15 years in the industry spread across the 2 main IT vendors.

    Plus the 'opportunity to earn extra money by doing well' is a double edged sword. In difficult times, it's nice to have some consistency in your earnings so don't assume the grass is greener! But even in difficult times like now, I enjoy my job and that is worth something to me. HP are a better employer than my last bunch and I'm part of a happy team. Perhaps we are all the exceptions!

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