HP looks to downsize living quarters

Hewlett-Packard will do a four-year review of its real-estate holdings and look for places to trim its footprint.

Hewlett-Packard plans to consolidate its sprawling real estate holdings into more densely packed locations as part of its ongoing cost-reduction plan, the company announced Thursday.

The four-year review of HP's real estate kicked off a little less than a year after CEO Mark Hurd announced plans to aggressively cut costs within the company. Under the new program, HP wants to reduce the number of offices it maintains and to have a smaller number of "core sites," it said in a press release.

Over several years of acquisitions, HP has accumulated quite a lot of real estate, said Ryan Donovan, a company spokesman. "We're an amalgamation of four companies over the years," he said, referring to HP's major purchases of Digital Equipment, Tandem and Compaq. That doesn't include dozens of other smaller acquisitions, such as deals with Peregrine Software, AppIQ and Snapfish, which had their own facilities.

HP hopes to use the savings from the consolidation to upgrade its so-called core sites with new technology designed to make it easier for mobile workers to get their work done, Donovan said. This includes things like mobile workspaces, or "hotelling," and more technology in common areas like cafeterias and coffee rooms.

The consolidation efforts will be spread around the world, he said. HP, which is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., has not released plans for specific facilities or geographical areas.

The real estate initiative follows plans to consolidate HP's data centers from 85 separate locations to six. The company also recently announced plans to reorganize its supply chain activities.

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