Hewlett-Packard struggles to find new direction

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, who took over the position in 2011, is currently facing a third consecutive drop in annual revenue. To turn the company around, she has announced in intent to lay off up to 16,000 employees, in addition to the 34,000 announced earlier this year, bringing the total to as many as 50,000. 

"The workforce reduction suggests the demand environment continues to be challenging," said Bill Kreher, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. to BusinessWeek. "The company is still in some very challenging businesses. The company needs to right-size the business."

The Palo Alto, California-based computer product company released fiscal second-quarter earnings this week that fell slightly below analysts' expectations. This marks the eleventh consecutive quarter of declining sales. 

Entrepreneur.com explained that consumers are turning away from buying personal computers and printers and instead electing to purchase more mobile-friendly tablets and smartphones. Hewlett-Packard is the second largest vendor of personal computers after Lenovo Group, and shipped 73.4 million units in the first quarter, according to BusinessWeek. 

Hewlett-Packard also settled expensive legal disputes in the past months. The company was required to pay more than $100 million in response to claims that they had bribed officials in foreign countries, and paid another $57 million to settle a suit regarding shareholder fraud. 

"We need to be nimble in what is an enormously rapidly changing marketplace," Whitman told Entrepreneur.com. "So while no one likes to reduce the workforce, this will be good for our customers and it will be good for Hewlett-Packard."

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