HP Lays Off 'Double Digits' of Palm Staffers: Report

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2010-07-06 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

HP, with its acquisition of Palm complete, has reportedly laid off a number of Palm employees to "consolidate functions and operations." Likely still in place are key members of the Palm webOS team, which HP has tasked with developing webOS-based tablets, smartphones and PCs.

Hewlett-Packard, following the completion of its acquisition of smartphone-maker Palm, has reportedly laid off a number of Palm staffers, according to the tech site All Things D.  

Citing "sources (once) close to the company," John Paczkowski writes that the cuts are in the "double digits, not hundreds," and that an HP spokesperson told him: "Part of the integration strategy is consolidation of functions and operations, as appropriate. There is always turnover in organizations. Palm employees overall are enthusiastic about having the financial stability and global scale necessary to complete their vision."

While it's not a "new day" for everyone, high-level executives on both sides have likewise suggested that the acquisition will not only enable HP to energetically enter the smartphone market, as well as better compete against Apple in the tablet space, but will enable the Palm side of the business to see through their projects of the last few years.

"With HP's full backing and global strengths, I'm confident that webOS will be able to reach its full potential," Jon Rubinstein, Palm's former CEO, who will now report to HP Executive Vice President Todd Bradley, said in a July 1 statement. "This agreement will accelerate the development of this incredible platform with new resources, scale and support from a world-respected brand."  

The Palm team is said to have a roadmap and to be at work on new devices, as well as an updated version of webOS. And while HP's Microsoft-based Slate tablet is reportedly alive and well, HP has been clear about its plans to release a tablet based on webOS, as well as smartphones and PCs - all of which will fall under the direction of Rubinstein.

An HP tablet, in addition to including the open-source webOS, would look to compete with Apple's iPad by including USB ports and support for Adobe Flash - features that Apple has left off the iPad.

In April, when Palm - with help from Goldman Sachs and Qatalyst Partners - was making its for-sale status known, its senior vice president of software and services, Mike Abbott, resigned. Wanting to keep its core team of employees intact, presumably to make the company more desirable, Palm implemented an employee retention program that included quarter-million-dollar cash bonuses.

Exactly who, or the level of employees that were let go by HP, is unclear.


 


 
 
 
 
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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