back to article HP culls nearly half remaining webOS team

Hewlett-Packard continues to dismantle its webOS engineering team by handing nearly half of the remaining 600 techies their pink slips. The cuts began in September when HP's axe fell on 525 webOS employees following the decision to shutter the hardware unit that designed the now defunct TouchPad and Pre3 devices. Another 275 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If they're trying to redeploy them internally, they've not been handed a pink slip, have they?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Um

      Maybe 'redeploying them internally' means something different in an HP context, e.g. trying to stick them up each other's arses so that they all disappear entirely, in a sort of M.C. Escher-esque anomaly.

  2. Thomas 4

    Don't panic folks!

    Remember HP is totally commited to the future of WebOS!

  3. Peter Gordon

    Its such a shame that webOS failed

    I just purchased a Pre 3, and I absolutely love it, an absolute joy to use. The fact that I find it so damn good just makes it that much sadder that it represents the end of an era.

    Damn you, HP.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thats nothing

    Wait till you see the colossal HP contractor bloodbath across EMEA coming up very soon indeed.

    1. FredScummer

      Having worked as a contractor with HP previously one gets used to things like having the rate trimmed by 10% in a take-it-or-go arrangement. They aren't the company they once were, and I doubt ever will be again.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thats nothing

      Already seen the bloodbath in APJ. However, it does appear that financial control was somewhat lax. If the finances are 44% down on the same quarter last year, cuts are inevitable and probably across the board rather than targeted at webos.

      On a tablet, Enyo makes both iOS and Android look archaic.

    3. Hooksie

      Re: Thats nothing

      That's because contractors have been bleeding HP (and by extension the tax payer in the case of their public services divisions) dry for a very, very long time. Guys who are contractors working in key positions as single points of failure earning upwards of £600 - £1000 a day for 6 years and more???? I'll take that gig please! Not their fault that the management are so short sighted btw, it happens all over our industry - won't pay a permie a decent wage but will bring in a load of contractors on highly inflated salaries just so you can get rid of them when you want to.

  5. AJames

    More nimble?

    Is that the new buzzword for slashing the team in half? Making them more "nimble"? I guess I'd get a little more nimble too if I were trying to avoid an axe that falls repeatedly, but I'm not sure it helps productivity. I have a fire-sale TouchPad. I like it and I've bought more apps for it than for my iPhone. I think HP didn't stick with it long enough, and they're compounding their mistakes.

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: More nimble?

      > I think HP didn't stick with it long enough,

      It seems to me that it may have been the target of MS's Windows On ARM (WOA).

      MS gives discounts over all their products and 'advertising partnerships' to 'loyal OEMs' . Loyal meaning 'doing as MS tells them'. So HP receives a discount on all copies of Windows and Office for all the PCs and x86-64 servers that they make. This must be worth hundreds of millions.

      But of course this loyalty only applies when MS has products to use, so ARM based machines were outside consideration. Until MS announced WOA. If TouchPads did not use WOA then the whole of the discount would be lost over all types of computer.

      It doesn't matter to MS if HP makes TouchPads with WOA or never again makes anything with ARM, just as long as stops making Linux based stuff.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    holy cow

    What were 1000+ developers doing doing on WebOS?

    Even with 100 managers, 100 planners, and 100 testers, that still leaves 700 warm bodies.... hardware takes very few, maybe 50 including supply chain management. Now down to 650 keyboard bashers. No wonder HP took the axe to them, that is 3x as many as should be needed.

    And, 1000 bodies cost maybe 150K each (including a piece of Whitman's bloated salary and perks, benes, dividends, pay, roof, heat light and compute power...). That's 150M, kills your profits unless sales breaks the 10M volume, redline at 1M units, and a hopeless loss for firesale slabs that don't even recover BOM cost.

  7. Eduard Coli

    Finish it

    The title of this could have been finished with "At the behest of Microsoft".

    My guess is that the license discount given to HP and other favored resellers by M$ far outgweigh the profit made even on a popular non-Windows tablet.

    That or the history of glue sniffing continues at HP's executive level.

  8. 2cent

    Form fitting function

    It would be nice if they decided in what "form" they're actually going to support in WEBOS and release that information along side of this.

    That way developers would be able to "function", rather than be "fogged" over.

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