Key moments in Hewlett-Packard's recent history

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 15, 2013 at 11:49 am •  Published: July 15, 2013
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— May 23: HP says it plans to eliminate 27,000 jobs, the largest payroll purge in its 73-year history. The reductions will affect about 8 percent of its nearly 350,000 employees by the time the overhaul is completed in October 2014. HP hopes to avoid many layoffs by offering early retirement packages. The company expects to save as much as $3.5 billion annually from the job cuts and other austerity measures.

— May 30: Bill Veghte is promoted to chief operating officer, just four months after he was tasked with shaping HP's strategy. He will keep those duties, while HP named an outsider to replace him as head of HP's software division.

— Aug. 8: HP says it will take a massive charge against its earnings for the quarter through July, leading to a record loss of nearly $9 billion. The charge is the result of a writedown of the value of its services business, reflecting that the company overpaid for EDS in 2008. The services business provides information technology and outsourcing services to corporations. It has seen flat revenue for the last two years, and its operating profit has declined.

— Aug. 22: HP reports the largest quarterly loss in its history as it accounted for the EDS business.

— Sept. 10: HP says it plans to cut about 2,000 more jobs than it had previously announced, bringing the total to 29,000 jobs by October 2014.

— Oct. 3: HP says it expects earnings to fall by more than 10 percent in 2013. Whitman says she inherited a bloated company that hasn't been innovating quickly enough in any of its divisions, which span from personal computers and printers to software and data storage. The headaches are so severe that Whitman believes HP's revenue growth might not accelerate again until 2015.

— Nov. 20: HP says it's the victim of a multi-billion dollar fraud at the hands of Autonomy. HP says executives at Autonomy "willfully" boosted the company's figures through various accounting tricks. HP is taking an $8.8 billion charge to align Autonomy's purchase price with what HP now says is its real value. HP says more than $5 billion of that charge is due to false accounting. Lynch says HP's allegations are false.

— Feb. 25, 2013: HP says it is selling its webOS software to South Korean electronics company LG Electronics, securing a new home for a technological orphan. The deal rids HP of the centerpiece of its ill-fated, $1.8 billion purchase of Palm Inc. three years earlier.

— March 20: HP barely rebuffs a shareholder rebellion aimed at ousting the two longest-serving directors from its board as punishment for a series of botched acquisition and other pratfalls. John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson both were re-elected by unusually narrow margins. Lane, the board chairman, was backed by just 59 percent of the vote.

— April 4: HP says Lane is stepping down as chairman, two weeks after a near ousting by shareholders. Hammergren and Thompson are also leaving. Board member Ralph V. Whitworth becomes interim chairman. Lane will stay on HP's board.

— May 22: Even as HP's revenue has declined at the fastest rate yet in a nearly two-year slump, the company delivers fiscal second-quarter earnings that top the estimates of both its own management and the analysts who influence investor perceptions. HP provides Wall Street with another encouraging sign by predicting its earnings for the current quarter will top analyst projections. It also raises its earnings forecast for the full year, another sign that management is confident that HP's profits won't fall as dramatically as many investors feared while the PC market crumbles.

— June 18: Todd Bradley, the head of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s printing and personal computer business, is appointed to a new position in charge of the company's strategy with a focus on China. Whitman says his tasks will include identifying small companies and startups that "could partner with HP to spur growth."

— July 15: HP names three new members to its board: former McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner; Raymond Ozzie, former chief software architect at Microsoft Corp.; and Robert Bennett, former president and CEO of Liberty Media Corp. The appointments boost the number of directors to 12, up from nine. HP says it continues to search for a permanent board chairman.