HP-EDS Merger Gives EDS Employees the Pink Slip Heebie-Jeebies

By John Hazard  |  Posted 2008-09-15

There seems to be little doubt that some of the more than 100,000 Electronic Data Systems employees worldwide will be cut from the payroll when Hewlett-Packard completes its merger with EDS, but the number is giving employees and union reps heartburn, according to the Channel Register.

Officials from Unite, a union representing EDS employees in Europe, told the Register they've been left in the dark and fear the coming consolidation means looming unemployment.

They're probably right.

HP and CEO Mark Hurd have become skillful cost cutters.

Fortune's Jon Fortt touches on the employee topic in his analysis of the consolidation.

EDS is a sprawling services business with a bloated cost structure and more than 100,000 employees -- making it cumbersome enough to weigh down HP's profits and sink its stock price unless executives can tame it. A big reason HP felt confident enough to do the deal in the first place is that executives felt they've gotten good enough at finding savings (and presumably issuing pink slips) that they can take at least $750 million in costs out of EDS.

The $13.9 acquisition was completed in August. Hurd, Ann Livermore, vice president of HP's Technology Solutions group, and Ron Rittenmeyer, CEO of EDS, will address the consolidation and post-merger plans for the first time Sept. 15 in a meeting with financial analysts.

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