| Hurd: Stiff target
Los Angeles, July 18: Computing giant Hewlett-Packard Co, which brought in a new chief executive amid management turmoil in March, is expected to announce wide-ranging cost-cutting measures next week that could include slashing thousands of jobs, according to financial analysts.
A large cut in its workforce of 150,000 would be a blow to HP’s reputation as a genteel employees-as-family company.
Analysts say even the sacrosanct research-and-development budget at Palo Alto, California-based HP could feel the axe, which would be a shock for a company whose slogan is “HP: Invent”.
An HP spokeswoman declined to comment Friday on what she called “rumours and speculation”.
From the time chief executive Mark Hurd took over in March, analysts and investors have been watching for his first concrete moves after he announced that “I don’t think you’ll find me doing anything tricky”.
Hurd is known for cost cutting and for turning around NCR Corp, where he was CEO and which like HP has several technology divisions. He also is an outsider ' as was predecessor Carly Fiorina, whom the board ousted in February for failing to execute a revival of HP’s profits and share price ' and might be more ready to take the measures that HP’s critics advocate.
Hurd “is a guy who’s going to do things from a business perspective and try to accommodate and keep as much of the culture as possible,” said Harry Blount, an analyst with Lehman Bros. in San Francisco. “But to keep HP truly competitive against his competitors, he needs to get the organisation right.”
Analysts said HP, in essence, would have to choose which businesses matter, especially as it works to protect its core printer franchise against fast-charging rivals such as Dell Inc.