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Have massive tech layoffs done any good?

Some of the tech sector's ailing giants have been freely handing out pink slips over the past several years, with varying degrees of success.

Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard

Dates: June 2010, February 2012
Layoffs: 9,000; 275
Headcount before: 304,000
Headcount now: 349,600
Stock change: Down 53%

HP has done multiple rounds of deep job cuts over the past decade. The last major one took place in 2010, when then-CEO Mark Hurd axed 9,000 positions, but hiring and acquisitions quickly ran HP's headcount right back up. Get ready for another major cull: HP is preparing to announce this week a cut of another 25,000 or so workers.

None of that has halted HP's dramatic downward spiral. That's because workforce trims don't address HP's bigger problems: It has lost market share, failed to bring out innovative products and lacks a clear direction.

It's still a tech behemoth, but last year's profits were 19% lower than the previous year's.


By Michal Lev-Ram and David Goldman @FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 23 2012: 5:31 AM ET
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