Update: Hewlett-Packard to Lay Off 500 in Conway

by Luke Jones and Lance Turner  on Monday, Jul. 8, 2013 3:33 pm  

A bank of workstations as seen from the stairwell in Hewlett-Packard's center in Conway. The photo was taken in early 2010, before workers moved into the $28 million facility at the Meadows Office & Technology Park in Conway. (Photo by Mike Pirnique)

The state and city devoted millions of dollars in incentives to the project. Arkansas provided $10 million from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund for infrastructure, and the Conway Development Corp. built the $28 million facility to the company's specifications. Hewlett-Packard has been leasing the building from the Conway Development Corporation. Conway also agreed to spend $2.2 million to prepare the site.

On Monday, Joe Holmes of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission told the Arkansas Times that there are clawbacks on the Quick Action Closing Fund money.

"Exactly how much we don't know but will be meeting with the company the next few weeks to hammer that out," he said. "It will be based on totals of people employed, payroll, length of time employed etc. I will say they have been current on all agreements up until today."

Holmes said HP informed AEDC "this morning" that it planned to lay off about "half of its workforce."

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., called news of the layoffs "terrible and heartbreaking."  

"HP’s decision to restructure its business does not change the fact that Conway and Arkansas remain great places for high tech companies to call home, but it highlights why strengthening the economy and encouraging job growth remain my top priorities," he said.  

HP, which makes personal computers and printers and offers information technology services to business, has seen its value drop nearly 80 percent since 2010 as consumers have moved away from PCs and toward mobile devices, including Apple Inc.'s iPad.

The company has weathered high-profile CEO changes, an aborted plan to exit or spin off its PC business and a failed effort to craft its own mobile ecosystem system based on Palm's webOS, which it acquired in 2010 as part of its $1.2 billion purchase of Palm Inc. 

Company shares (Nasdaq: HPQ) peaked at $54.75 April 2010 and dropped to a low of $11.35 in November. On Monday, shares closed at $25.17, down 1.6 percent.



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