Hewlett-Packard of Palo Alto, Calif., the computer and information technology
services company that has struggled as PC sales have declined, said last week
that it is laying off 500 people at its services center in Conway.
In a statement, HP said the move is part of a restructuring process announced in May 2012 "designed to simplify business processes, advance innovation and deliver better results for our customers, employees and shareholders." In September, the company said it might cut as many 29,000 workers worldwide.
Sarah Pompei, an HP spokeswoman, told Arkansas Business that the employees who will lose their jobs in Conway are in HP's customer support specialist and contact center footprint. She said HP will continue to maintain a presence at its facility in Conway. She said the company will help laid off workers transition to new jobs.
"There will be no disruption in any of our services," the statement said. "Customers will still have access to HP's full portfolio of services with the same level of quality."
Brad Lacy, president of the Conway Regional Chamber of Commerce, told Arkansas Business the layoffs were unexpected. "We were a little surprised," he said.
HP doesn't release employment numbers at specific locations, but Lacy said the chamber estimated the company to have employed around 1,400 before the layoffs. He said he'll be working with the company to try to find new employment for the workers.
The publicly traded company announced the customer service and technical support center in 2008 with great fanfare at a news conference attended by Gov. Mike Beebe and an HP executive. It opened the 150,000-SF, $28 million center at the Meadows Office & Technology Park in Conway in 2010, expecting to employ 1,200 people with average salaries of about $40,000.
The state and city devoted millions of dollars in incentives to the project.
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