The “reduction in workforce” telegraphed by HP a few weeks ago appears to finally be taking place, according to a source inside the company. Apparently the formal emails have gone out and the entire San Diego Software unit is being rolled up. The number laid off is around 500, which tallies with previous estimates of up to 525.
It’s not much of a surprise, since following the untimely death of the TouchPad and webOS, it was really only a matter of time before the software groups directly responsible for maintaining those products would be eliminated. The jobs are reportedly moving to Shanghai and Yehud, Israel, where HP already has R&D centers.
The news comes as new CEO Meg Whitman is said to be reconsidering the idea of spinning off the PC-making portion of HP. The loss of the webOS unit was inevitable after Apotheker had second thoughts about the billion-dollar acquisition, but the remainder of his bold but perhaps misguided strategy for the company isn’t as binding.
Note: however likely it may be, this news is not confirmed, as we do not have the internal email, but if our source is kind enough to forward a redacted copy, we’ll reprint it here.
Update: This was confirmed earlier, it seems. Also, as some commenters have noted, the San Diego unit was not necessarily the webOS unit. Lacking any internal information on this it is hard to say for sure whether it is related, but the numbers and timing cleave too closely to comments made by HP less than a month ago, which is why I attributed the layoffs to the webOS and related units.