It is not an usual day for HP employees. The corporation has made a announcement of laying off 275 employees form its webOS department, says The Verge.
The news follows webOS head John Rubinstein’s recent departure.
HP released a statement on Feb 28, saying that it is letting go of most of its webOS team because the employees are no longer needed for webOS projects:
As webOS continues the transition from making mobile devices to open source software, it no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before. This creates a smaller and more nimble team that is well-equipped to deliver an open source webOS and sustain HP’s commitment to the software over the long term.
HP is working to redeploy employees affected by these changes to other roles at the company.
The number of engineers came from Palm and the number of members HP hired to work on webOS is obscure. Anyway it is an unfortunate number of people who lost their jobs. As unfortunate as it is, the move doesn’t really come as a surprise. HP ended up killing off webOS hardware because it wasn’t selling enough devices. And last September, All Things D reported that HP cut 500 employees from its webOS division.
In December, Meg Whitman, The Chief Executive Officer of HP, reported that webOS was going to become open sourced and that the OS would live on HP tablets again, but laying off 275 employees doesn’t inspire confidence in that plan.
HP thought it was on to something with the Touchpad and thought bigger, better devices were to come. Hopes were high last year before the Touchpad launch that the new HP tablet would blow Apple’s forthcoming iPad 2 out of the water. But the iPad already had a loyal following and proved too tough a tablet to beat.
HP has made no other comment about the layoffs.