24,600 HP employees to get pink slips by 2011

Like all big mergers, the fusion of HP and technology-services firm Electronic Data Systems will put some current employees back in the job market. In this case, though, a staggering 24,600 staffers will receive pink slips over the next three years. The Associated Press says most of the firings will affect former EDS employees in areas like finance, human resources, and legal departments, and half of the cuts will apply to employees in the U.S.

What are 24,600 jobs to HP? The PC giant had 178,000 people on its payroll before the merger, and EDS brought in another 142,000 staffers for a total of 320,000. If my math is right, that means the firings should cut the combined entity's workforce by about 7.7%. That said, HP intends to hire another 12,000 or so folks to fill different positions throughout the company.

According to the AP, HP purchased EDS for $13.9 billion to "challenge IBM Corp. for more of the lucrative, long-term business of helping companies manage their computing infrastructure." The layoffs will save HP $1.8 billion a year once it's completed its post-acquisition restructuring.

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