OT: HP job cuts



#30

Bloomberg and Forbes are saying next week HP will anounce big job cuts. Surely they can't cut anymore from the calculator group. Sorry no live link to an article. For the life of me i have not been able to get one to post. I'll leave that to one of the old timers here to do their blue "here" or "there". :p


#31

Bloomberg article

#32

HP could save a thousand of those jobs by paying Whitman what she's worth. And if Apple wanted to sell it's junk for what it's worth; they could pay whoever their socially connected, teflon coated, secret handshaking, ivy league business-class slime is..... somewhat less than 337 million per year and pass on the savings to the customer. Similar things could be said for any of the CEOs of companies in the S&P 500 Index, who's average pay rose to $12.94 million in 2011. But i won't hold my breath on any of those.


#33

Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel :)

#34

Quote:
HP could save a thousand of those jobs by paying Whitman what she's worth. And if Apple wanted to sell it's junk for what it's worth; they could pay whoever their socially connected, teflon coated, secret handshaking, ivy league business-class slime is..... somewhat less than 337 million per year and pass on the savings to the customer. Similar things could be said for any of the CEOs of companies in the S&P 500 Index, who's average pay rose to $12.94 million in 2011. But i won't hold my breath on any of those.

Well said!


#35

Quote:
Well said!

Depends on what you mean by "Well said!", I suppose. If you agree with the raw sentiment; perhaps. If you're someone who'd prefer that the complimented statement make sense, then no, it wasn't particularly well said.

db claims that HP could save "a thousand of those jobs" by "paying Witman what she's worth." For 2012, Meg Witman gets $1 in salary and stock options valued at $16.1 million.

As in my Apple example, let's pretend this is all a big pile of cash.

Now, when I was at Apple in the late 1980s, my salary was $38,000. An HR person told me that the time that Apple's actual cost per employee was about double their gross salary by the time benefits, insurance, facilities, and the like were added. So in 1989 it cost Apple about $76,000 per year to keep me as an employee.

I'll assume that db thinks Meg's worth precisely nothing. I might be overstating the case, but again, let's go with it.

So what's the cost to HP to keep an "employee" for a year? Surprisingly, this information is available online here. For a "Senior Software Engineer", it's about $110K. Double that to account for benefits, stock options, insurance, etc. to reach $220K.

So if Meg took her hypothetical pile of cash and used every penny to keep senior software engineers, she'd save 73 senior software engineer positions. That's not insignificant, I admit; but it's not "a thousand" either. Of course if we figure janitor salaries, perhaps it would be. Since the whole concept is rather silly, I suppose we can jiggle the parameters any way we want...


#36

Mr. Ramsey;
-I was assuming (always a bad idea) that Meggie is paid what Leo Apotheker was "compensated": over $30,400,000 in 2011. That's $243 per minute. Man; you gotta be ON to demand that kind of money. Every second. To be fair though; i'm sure that he would have got more but took a voluntary cut in pay every time he had a headache and wasn't functioning up to his usual par - or when he was wrong - or the times he had gas. Not to say that the ruling class ever has gas.... they pay someone minimum wage to do that for them or just outsource it to China.
-I was using the average U.S. workers pay of $34,000 per year and to tell the truth i'm not sure if that number includes a benefit package. I'm pretty sure it doesn't include stock options, deferred compensation, Leer jet rides, or golden parachutes.
-So would i use that $200,000 each to hire 49 new "senior software engineers", 49 mechanical and electrical types, 49 people with a brain and basic language skills to answer the phone, and a couple of bright boys or girls to help out in the calculator group. You betcha, and in this job market i'm sure i could get more than that. If Meg or someone else from her exalted level of society wouldn't work for the remaining $200,000 then i'd look around for some monkey in a tailored suit, or a bloodsucking leach that would work for six times what the average joe gets by on.
-What did the guys who started it all and created the atmosphere where our favorite tools got designed and built, Bill and Dave, get paid per year? I bet it wasn't 150 times what their top engineers brought home.


#37

Why argue from an assumption? You could have found Whitman's salary with a 10 second Google search. Arguing from facts is way better.

Here's the real issue I think you missed: Meg Whitman's annual salary is $1. Sure, she has millions in stock options, but that's all they are: options. If Meg does a bad job, the stock price could go down, and her options could be worthless. Conversely if she does well and the stock value goes up, she wins big.

This seems to be an eminently fair approach to me: tying an executive's pay directly to their performance.

But-- as your rant against Apple reveals-- your real problem is that you know the Magic Multiplier. This is by how many times an executive's total compensation can exceed that of the average worker and still be "fair". Apparently you think the Magic Multiplier Bill and Dave used was OK, but I should point out that they were both seriously wealthy individuals, as one would expect from the way they started foundations and endowed them with tens of millions of dollars.

FWIW, Meg Whitman founded the Griffith R. Harsh IV and Margaret C Whitman Charitable Foundation and gave it a nice $9.4 million jump start by donating 300,000 shares of her eBay stock. It's more than I would have done, but then I'm somewhat of a money-grubber. I have to be, to afford all of these damn calculators.

Edited: 19 May 2012, 2:47 p.m.


#38

No rant against apple happened here. I think it's great that they can make stuff that doesn't crash all the time. I just don't use it. When i started out; all surveying and grading software was written for PCs or the hp 80 series, so i never bit the apple.

No rant anywhere, since i used punctuation and more than one paragraph.

What i have against Apple is that they play into the corporate good old boy culture: the boundless hubris and bottomless greed that ends in paying some parasite 338 million bucks per year - not for inventing something - but for yacking and sending American jobs to China while expecting Americans to buy his shiny overpriced toys.


Quote:
If Meg does a bad job, the stock price could go down, and her options could be worthless. Conversely if she does well and the stock value goes up, she wins big.

No. If she does badly; she gets the choice between Carly's golden parachute of $42 million, Apothaker's severance package of $25.2 million, or Hurd's fee to walk away of $12.2 million. Quite a range of reward for failure there.


#39

Apple manufactures in China because it's physically impossible to make iPhones and iPads here. The manufacturing infrastructure simply doesn't exist. The New York Times has a comprehensive article on this subject that would be worth your time to read.

Given your admission that your previous claim of Meg's salary was wrong because it was based on an "assumption", you can see that I might be skeptical about your claim of her choice of "rewards" if she does badly. After a good 5 minutes Googling, I can't find any mention of this. Can you provide a cite?

(I agree that HP's rewarding of their failed executive is scandalous, but it seems to me that your ire should be directed at their board, who after all are the ones who crafted and approved these packages.)


#40

Quote:
Apple manufactures in China because it's physically impossible to make iPhones and iPads here. The manufacturing infrastructure simply doesn't exist.

That article is one interpretation.

Apple is building factories around the world. They could have built a factory here. (Political/legal/regulatory risk in the U.S. might actually be higher than China, and I'm sure that entered into their business decision.)

There does exist hi-tech manufacturing in the U.S. Yes, most of the parts would need to be imported, but many/most of them are also imported into China. Apple made a business decision to NOT build in the U.S. because it was easier and/or more profitable, not because they were forced because of component suppliers or labor.

#41

Quote:
I might be skeptical about your claim of her choice of "rewards" if she does badly. After a good 5 minutes Googling, I can't find any mention of this. Can you provide a cite?

I sure can. These popped up on the first page Google presented to me. Do you need me to look up anything else for you?

There's this which is specific Hurd's golden parachute

and Carlie's reward for gutting "The Company of Engineers"

and this, which is is enough to turn Ayn Rand into a socialist

this one is quite interesting. The video shows at least three sides to the problem and discusses Apotheker's reward for failure


Quote:
Apple manufactures in China because it's physically impossible to make iPhones and iPads here. The manufacturing infrastructure simply doesn't exist.

Absolutely. Nobody makes anything here but rocks and sticks. The United States is a fookin fourth rate third world country. That must be it. Choosing to manufacture in China couldn't have anything to do with $10 per 12 hour day labor costs. Never.
Right.

HP 12Cs made in Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia are of the same quality as the first ones that were made in the US. As noted here: Chinese hp keyboards and screens have left much to be desired. I'm not blaming the employees. They'd probably try for as near perfect a product as they could get, just like any other worker. Not that it matters, but i blame the Chinese slavemasters. They want a huge profit, often for making and selling crap, and they want it now. Just like we want our cheap tech goodies and we want them yesterday - even if they break next week.

Note: This was typed on a 2005 Chinese IBM Thinkpad G41 that just won't break, the exception that proves the rule.

#42

Quote:
And if Apple wanted to sell it's junk for what it's worth; they could pay whoever their socially connected, teflon coated, secret handshaking, ivy league business-class slime is..... somewhat less than 337 million per year and pass on the savings to the customer

Let's do the math, Apple haters! After all, this being a calculator forum, it should be easy for us. Right?

OK, we'll forget about Jobs, since his annual Apple salary was $1. Tim Cook gets $900K plus $378 million in stock options. Let's treat that all as a big pile of cash, even though it's not, but since you're acting as though it is, we'll go with it. Let's round it up to $379 million bucks for Tim Cook for an annual salary.

Apple doesn't release product sales figures, so we'll just have to go with the quarterly results (gross sales):

2011 Q1: $26.74 billion

2011 Q2: $24.67 billion

2011 Q3: $28.57 billion

2011 Q4: $28.27 billion

Total 2011 revenues: $108.25 billion.

Dividing that into $379 million and multiplying by 100 we see that Tim Cook's salary represents 0.35% of Apple's revenue. Of course, not all of Apple's revenue is retail sales, but again we'll just pretend it is since we don't have detailed sales information.

$399 iPad drops to $397.60

$199 iPod Touch drops to $198.30

$15,499 Mac Pro (most expensive I could configure) drops to $15,444.75

So fiscally, your proposition doesn't really make any sense, does it? I mean, assuming your goal was to significantly reduce the price of Apple products. Instead of, say, just ranting about how much you hate Apple, its products, the people who run the company, and the people who are its customers. But surely you wouldn't be that petty...

Edited: 18 May 2012, 12:08 p.m.


#43

As somebody else responded, further up in this thread...


"Well said."

#44

I don't much like Apple or their products, but they do appear to have some of the best customer support going and that costs them something. So I would have to think that, in part at least, is what you are paying the premium prices for. And I also have to say that those prices (on computer products at least) don't appear to be quite as "premium" as they used to be.

Well, ok, support and perhaps their massive bankroll. Most companies would willingly hang their CEO to have that much cash on hand.

Cheers,

-Marwan

#45

Quote:
Dividing that into $379 million and multiplying by 100 we see that Tim Cook's salary represents 0.35% of Apple's revenue. Of course, not all of Apple's revenue is retail sales, but again we'll just pretend it is since we don't have detailed sales information.

$399 iPad drops to $397.60

$199 iPod Touch drops to $198.30

$15,499 Mac Pro (most expensive I could configure) drops to $15,444.75


You forget that every dollar of cost adds at least $2 and usually more like $3-$5 to the retail price for products with average margin. The more expensive products typically have much higher margin, often at least 2x.

But yes, your point is valid. Taking one salary doesn't make a huge difference at retail price. Now add the additional $Billions that Apple is banking every year.

Or don't. The stockholders are happy the way things are, so obviously no changes are needed.

#46

Whitman et al. are not paid for performance nor should they be. They, as am I, are paid as they are ruling class members.

In the abstract, Whitman may or may not be a good CEO. My personal opinion, which like all others except for those of the board members, counts for nothing is that she is doing a poor job. But her compensation reflects her education, position and status.

As for he calculator division, as a Vulture Capitalist, I have looked into this downsizing and see practically no effect of the approx. 25,000 jobs cuts effecting that. Sadly, it is pretty minimal as it stands. We passed the glory days of handhelds a long time ago.


#47

Quote:


Whitman et al. are not paid for performance nor should they be. They, as am I, are paid as they are ruling class members.

In the abstract, Whitman may or may not be a good CEO. My personal opinion, which like all others except for those of the board members, counts for nothing is that she is doing a poor job. But her compensation reflects her education, position and status.

As for he calculator division, as a Vulture Capitalist, I have looked into this downsizing and see practically no effect of the approx. 25,000 jobs cuts effecting that. Sadly, it is pretty minimal as it stands. We passed the glory days of handhelds a long time ago.



Glad you cleared that up.

#48

I would find it very difficult to keep upgrading my Veyron were it not for my pay status.

Edited: 18 May 2012, 10:51 a.m.


#49

Bill superb. I may have to cloak my sarcasm more going forward. You are uncovering this Whitman thing too easily.


#50

Managers never manage and never know what to do in my experience. Sam

#51

Quote:
Whitman et al. are not paid for performance nor should they be. They, as am I, are paid as they are ruling class members.

Wrong. Her annual salary is $1. Her real compensation is in stock options, whose value is rather directly tied to her performance.

Quote:
In the abstract, Whitman may or may not be a good CEO. My personal opinion, which like all others except for those of the board members, counts for nothing is that she is doing a poor job. But her compensation reflects her education, position and status.

Huh. And here I thought her performance at eBay might have something to do with it. I mean, when she started as CEO eBay had 30 employees and $4 million annual revenue; when she left, it had 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue. If I were looking for someone to head my company, this sort of track record would be attractive.

I must confess that I am puzzled by the efforts of some here to paint Whitman as a useless bit of fluff who's coasted into undeserved executive position, power, and wealth despite her extensive business experience. I suspect much of this vitriol stems from her politics, because there seems little to support it in her business record.

She may or may not be a good fit for HP, but it seems as though nobody wants to actually wait and see any results.


#52

Quote:
Huh. And here I thought her performance at eBay might have something to do with it.

ebay is an idea whose time had come. A brown dog could have gotten 90% of the results she got. Anything on two legs would have done even better than that.


Quote:
some here to paint Whitman as a useless bit of fluff

She and her social equals are useless fluff, along with the brown lipped sycophants who think that if they only worship the non-working rich hard enough; they will get to breathe that same rarefied air. Guess again.

She's not Bill, Dave, the Woz, Charlie Litton, or any of the millions of people all over the world that do and make interesting things and accidentally get paid enough to eat for doing them. She's just a figurehead, and not a very pretty one.


#53

You left Dennis Ritchie off your list. Ritchie quietly passed away shortly after Jobs did, but with little fanfare. Ritchie was our generation's Turing, the shoulders upon which Jobs and Woz and Gates and got to stand. The implications are boggling, and the George Bailey analysis astounds. K&R C is the precursor, or the very least a great uncle, of pretty well every computer language today that runs our world. Without C there would be no C++, Objective C, C#, Java, Android, Mac OS, Windows, etc. Our techno-world would've evolved very differently had Ritchie not walked among us.

Ritchie passed away quietly, not famous, a legend to the technical cognoscenti but not a fixture in popular culture. I like to think he wanted it that way.


#54

How very true, and the comparison to Turing is well founded. Well said.

#55

Bravo!

#56

Quote:
ebay is an idea whose time had come. A brown dog could have gotten 90% of the results she got. Anything on two legs would have done even better than that.

I have heard the same thing said about Microsoft (for DOS) and Apple, when the iPod took off. I always find it interesting how people claim these companies profited only because "they were in the right place at the right time" or that the "time was right" for their product, and not because of any innate talent. I further point out that the iPod, the device that led the renaissance of the company, was not technically interesting-- there were many MP3 players available, some of which were functionally superior-- but succeeded almost entirely due to marketing.

Do hold Steve Jobs in the same degree of contempt that you do Tim Cook? Just wondering.

Success, especially at this level, has always bred a corrosive dislike and envy. It's disappointing to find it here.

Edited: 20 May 2012, 12:13 p.m.


#57

My dislike for Steve Jobs had nothing to do with his success or even how he achieved it. He had great foresight and initiative and brought great products to the marketplace. His egomaniacal (or would egocentric be a more accurate term?) blather I could, however, have done without.

Don't confuse my "contempt" for the man with a lack of appreciation for what he achieved. He was a genius and saved Apple when it was on the edge of bankruptcy--without him there probably would be no Apple today. Without him we would have a one operating system world as far as the home and small business user is concerned (ok we would still have Linux but that is very much a techie platform). That would be bad if for no other reason then MS would have no competition.

One could probably go on about his achievements and what he has meant to the personal computer business for pages. The point I am trying to make is that it is quite possible to recognize an individual as a phenomenal success, accept him or her as a genius, and still hold them in "contempt".

#58

The Peter Principle pays off exceedingly well nowadays.


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