Morning Coffee Mar 21 2012

H-P Layoffs Likely After Restructuring

By joseph walker

Layoffs could be in store at Hewlett-Packard with the decision to merge its printer group with the personal computer division. The move will force out Executive Vice President Vyomesh "VJ" Joshi, the current head of the printer staff. The new, consolidated staff will be headed by H-P veteran Todd Bradley, AllThingsD reports.

This is the first drastic change Chief Executive Meg Whitman has made since taking the company over in September. The printing and PC groups generate a combined $65 billion in annual revenue, more than half of last year's total company revenues. But even though these two divisions have historically been the core of H-P's business, they're also declining ones. More and more consumers are jettisoning their PCs for tablets and smartphones that they use to store documents rather than printing them, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Whitman is looking to save money with the merger, the New York Times writes. Since there's a lot of overlap between the two groups, particularly in manufacturing and marketing, job reductions are likely.

The restructuring is also seen as a way of giving Bradley, a well-respected tech executive, more responsibility to keep him at H-P. Bradley, 53 years old, had been unhappy under previous Chief Executive Leo Apotheker, who publicly toyed with the idea of selling off the PC division altogether. Before Apotheker was fired in September, Bradley was rumored to be searching for a CEO position elsewhere. Nor was he happy when Whitman was chosen over him to lead H-P.

Lessons (Harvard Business Review)

Steve Jobs might have been less than delicate with employees, but he also pushed them to do amazing work. Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson writes about the key management lessons of the late Apple founder's career.

Plateau (Oregonian)

Tech employment has stalled in Oregon at about 56,000 jobs. The reasons behind the slowdown are a series of layoffs at Symantec, Siltronic and Xerox as well as long-term problems like an industry-wide turn away from manufacturing.

Money Maker (WSJ)

Oracle reported a $2.5 billion profit in its most recent quarter, good news since it missed forecasts the previous quarter. Chief Executive Larry Ellison said that cloud computing, which Oracle has been slow to catch up with, presents an opportunity for his company to supplant competitor SAP AG.

Poachville (BetaBeat)

Mobile payment start-up Square is stealing executives from PayPal, whose vice president of products for North America is leaving the company to hook up with Jack Dorsey and Co.

Takeover (Bloomberg)

The increase in contract workers is leading to mergers and acquisitions in the technology field. On Assignment Inc., a temp service for tech and health-care firms, is buying IT staffing outfit Apex Systems Inc. for $600 million.

Meeting Mitt (Digits)

Add to the perks allotted Google employees the chance to meet Mitt Romney, the man most likely to face President Obama in this year's election. In a tour of Google's Chicago offices, Romney complimented one engineering employee's "big lava lamp."

Edging In (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Microsoft is trying to sneak its way into the wireless broadband market by using the gaps between TV network signals.

Moving In (WSJ)

Tech firms accounted for a whopping 29% of all commercial real estate growth last year. The hiring sprees of companies like Amazon and Google is good news for brokers.

Speed Trap (WSJ)

They say speed kills, but when it comes to the new iPad, it's more likely to cost you a lot of money. The latest version runs on the super-fast LTE network and users are burning through their monthly data allotments in mere hours.

Buzz Around the Office

Dog on Slide (YouTube)

A kid at heart.

List of the Day: Other Duties

Here's how to respond if you're asked to do something not quite within your job description.

1. Make clear what your role is and say you're busy with those duties.

2. Unless you're working on a team, in which case it's good to pitch in occasionally.

3. When in doubt, say you have to ask your manager.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that H-P Executive Vice President Todd Bradley had worked at the company for 30 years. This is incorrect.

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