HP Reverses Hurd-Era Pay Cuts, Unveils Benefits

After a rocky start, new Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker is trying to settle into his role with a Thanksgiving gift for his employees.

During HP’s earnings call on Monday, Apotheker announced that the company was reversing pay cuts for a majority of the employees affected by a February 2009 salary-reduction plan under former CEO Mark Hurd.

HP also reinstated a company 401(k) plan matching contributions as a fixed benefit, and instituted a new share-ownership plan that would allow employees to buy company shares at a five percent discount.

“HP employees are a highly competitive group who want to win,” Apotheker said on a call with analysts. “They also want to be rewarded for their performance….I believe in the performance-driven culture, and our employees have been performing.”

The moves appear aimed at lifting the morale of a company that’s been reeling from yet another turbulent leadership transition, and helping Apotheker feel more welcome at the iconic Silicon Valley company once admired for its employee-friendly culture.

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