Today's news of Lehman's bankruptcy filing, the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America and A.I.G.'s bid to the Fed to stay afloat dominated the wires. In the shadows loomed Hewlett-Packard's announcement of 24,600 job cuts over the next three years, as part of its May acquisition of EDS and an ensuing restructuring program. The cuts, almost half of which will come from the US, will amount to 7.5% of the company's total workforce. The firm claims that roughly 50% of the eliminated positions will eventually be replaced. Ultimately, the restructuring is expected to save HP about $1.8 billion each year.
While HP execs tout their "streamlining for growth", it would seem that, at its root, the move is a knee-jerk reaction to the state of the economy. Here, Mick James, management consulting columnist for Top-Consultant, discusses the job cuts that typically take place during recessions. He notes that consulting, marketing and training budgets are typically slashed early, even though during these hard times, it would behoove companies to have these resources at their fingertips. <>
The consulting industry received some additional face time with the announcement that former Citigroup Chairman and CEO Charles Prince is now vice chairman at Washington, DC-based international advisory firm Stonebridge International LLC. Prince brings with him many political connections and international experience - and perhaps a clean slate, having acknowledged that he bears ultimate responsibility for the problems at Citigroup.
About his move into the consulting arena, Prince said, "I'm going to have fun. It's been a long time since I've had fun."
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