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 user 2008-08-21 at 5:06:55 pm Views: 54
  • #20455

    Corvallis HP layoffs start
    Layoffs at Hewlett-Packard’s Corvallis site started this week, sources told the Gazette-Times on Tuesday, in line with cuts in the company’s inkjet printing division that the company calls its “Print 2.0 transformation,” with more change in store for next year.HP would not confirm reports of job reductions in Corvallis, but company spokesman Dave Berman released a statement that did support news that some cuts were coming in its imaging and printing group (IPG), which has a strong presence and history here.“The realignment of IPG’s business entails shifting resources from slower growing businesses to new business opportunities,” according to the statement. “In some cases, parts of IPG’s business will experience reductions while investments will be made in high growth segments of the business.”

    The company’s inkjet printing technology was developed by Corvallis engineers in the mid-1980s.Sources told the Gazette-Times months ago that HP managers planned to shut down one of three silicon wafer fabrication facilities at the Corvallis site and that 35 percent to 45 percent of the 850 employees who work in the fabs were to be laid off.

    Those figures indicate as many as 300 jobs in jeopardy. HP has never officially confirmed any news of job cuts here, although sources say more changes are on the horizon.employees in the Corvallis and Vancouver, Wash., information technology departments have been warned that the company plans to consolidate its IT workers in Austin, Texas, by the end of next summer.That move will affect a total of 115 engineers who will be asked to relocate to central Texas starting in March.On Tuesday, HP announced its quarterly revenues rose 10 percent to $28 billion, ahead of Wall Street expectations of $27.43 billion. Revenues for the company’s imaging and printing group grew by 3 percent year over year, to $7 billion.

    On the flip side, profits from consumer printers slipped 14 percent compared to last year, and commercial printing equipment dropped 5 percent over the same time period.In a conference call announcing the company’s quarterly results, Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak said HP has shipped 2 percent fewer printers when compared to last year in a “tough” printing market.“Within IPG, we are focused on reducing our costs with ongoing initiatives to improve supply chain efficiency and lower product costs,” she said.

    The Corvallis-Benton Chamber Coalition geared up assistance programs for displaced workers when rumors began flying in May that some job cuts were imminent.Local chamber organizers said they have not received word from the company about this round of layoffs, as they had during earlier reductions here.“We’re always looking for people who are coming out,” said Mysty Rusk, Chamber president. “We think we can place any qualified technical person who comes out.”

    The disconnect between HP and the Chamber comes after Corvallis site managers dropped membership in the group this spring as part of a plan the company said was meant to focus on broader business alliances.The decision resulted in a loss of an anticipated $16,000 per year the chamber had received from HP in support of city economic development programs and chamber dues, just more than 3 percent of the chamber’s total membership dues.

    Hewlett-Packard employed about 6,000 people in Corvallis as recently as 1996, mainly in its inkjet printer division. That number dropped to about 2,500 in 2007 as the company continued to move production overseas and reduce employee costs through buyouts and early retirement.Current employee numbers remain guesses, however, as HP has declined to discuss those figures here or at any other site for years.