A representative for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer behemoth said the company laid off an unspecified number of employees in the United States this week. The layoffs are in addition to the 6,000 job cuts worldwide that HP announced earlier this year, before its bid to acquire onetime rival Compaq Computer.
The layoffs are also not apparently part of the estimated 15,000 layoffs that will occur after the merger, as the latest cutbacks do not relate to the merger, the representative said. Additionally, Compaq will lay off 8,500 employees separately.
"HP will continue to implement cost reductions," the representative said. The cost-cutting effort could also include leaving certain markets or consolidating divisions, according to the source.
Although the representative would not identify the number of job cuts, the total number is expected to be relatively small. The terminations have not triggered legal requirements that HP notify public agencies of the cutbacks.
Like nearly every other high-tech company, HP is suffering through its coldest season in years. PC sales are shrinking for the first time since analysts tracked data on sales, and price cuts are evaporating profits from the sales that do occur.
Along with the sluggish economy, HP must contend with the task of digesting Compaq. The mega-merger will potentially create one of the largest computer companies in the world. Eliminating the overlap between the two companies and crafting an overarching strategic vision will not be easy, analysts have said.
Before the layoffs, HP and Compaq combined employed approximately 164,500 people. Afterward, less than 135,000 will work at the conglomerate.
HP executives have said that the company will complete a strategic vision for the company within 100 days of the merger, making it due in mid-December. The strategic vision will not be released publicly, but details will emerge over time--assuming the merger is approved.