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 user 2005-02-15 at 9:50:00 am Views: 131
  • #10268

    Hewlett Packard employees in Corvallis worry about

    CORVALLIS,Ore.- The Hewlett-Packard campus in
    Corvallis is buzzing with rumors these days, about possible layoffs at the
    electronics giant that could come later this year.

    Corvallis employees and community leader said they haven’t
    been given definitive numbers, and estimates of how many jobs could be cut in
    Corvallis range from 20 percent of the HP workforce to just five percent.

    But any cuts at all would be a big blow to the town, where
    the Palo Alto-based Hewlett Packard employs about 4,300 people.

    On Jan. 14, HP merged its imaging and printing group, the
    division most Corvallis employees work for, with its personal systems group,
    which makes desktop computers, an especially competitive market.

    Low-cost competitors include Lexmark and Dell, the computer
    giant whose CEO, Kevin Rollins, has vowed to chip away at HP’s industry-leading
    inkjet printing business.

    Brigida Bergkamp, a company spokeswoman, said personnel
    changes were necessary companywide for HP to remain competitive.

    At the same time, she predicted that overall employee
    numbers in the imaging and personal systems group would remain about where they
    are today.

    Bergkamp said affected employees would receive plenty of
    notice before their jobs end and that HP would provide assistance for workers
    applying for new jobs either within or outside the company.

    Some Corvallis employees have been told they’ll need to
    reapply for their current jobs or apply for other positions.

    People who work at the Corvallis site say managers have
    told them to expect job cuts of about 20 percent over the next year or so. Cuts
    of that depth could mean a loss of about 860 jobs, reducing employee headcount
    to around 3,440 – about half the number HP Corvallis employed in its mid-90s

    Some community leaders, meanwhile, say they’ve been briefed
    to expect lesser cutbacks – in the range of 5 percent or about 200 jobs.

    Some HP employees in Corvallis told The Corvallis
    Gazette-Times that they are also hearing plans for leasing out unused space in
    Hewlett-Packard’s 11-building industrial campus.

    Part of one building has already been donated as temporary
    quarters for the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute.

    That raises the possibility that the HP compound could
    someday transition into a multitenant industrial park, with Hewlett-Packard as
    the anchor.