Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

HP Memo Confirms Layoffs and New Directions at Autonomy

Hewlett-Packard just let employees in its Autonomy business unit know that there are going to be some layoffs and some further changes to the business, including a boost to research and development spending.

I just received this internal memo, shared by an HP spokesman, from Robert Youngjohns, the newly appointed head of Autonomy, to his team. The highlights include confirmation — but no specific number — of coming layoffs at Autonomy. AllThingsD reported in December that about 70 people, most of them in sales roles, would be getting the ax.

The layoffs in the sales jobs are coinciding with a boost in R&D spending and the hiring of some 50 new engineers at Autonomy. Additionally, Youngjohns announced big plans to tie an Autonomy product, Aurasma 2.0, to HP’s massive printing and personal systems group. The point is to make printing a “cloud citizen,” the memo reads. However, some of the job cuts will be coming within the group that builds Aurasma.

From: Robert Youngjohns — HP Software Autonomy IM
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2013 7:50 AM
Subject: HP Autonomy Increases R&D Investments & Refocuses Aurasma


As we enter 2013, the focus of the HP Autonomy team is to position our business for growth and success. We have three priorities: making customer success the heart of everything that we do; building great products with a clear, funded roadmap; and leveraging the rest of HP to gain access to markets and customers. Our priorities are aligned with both HP Software as well as the larger HP, and I am pleased with the progress we’ve made so far and very optimistic about the future of the business.

In the spirit of being open and transparent, I want to let you know about two changes we’re making in the business:

First, we continue to invest in HP Autonomy and are aligning our resources with the priorities for HP Software overall. As part of this, we are continuing to invest in our R&D capabilities around the world; in fact, we expect to hire at least 50 additional engineers for Autonomy in the near term to lead new initiatives and further our technical prowess.

Secondly, with the announcement of Aurasma 2.0, we are ready to move to the next stage of this exciting business and focus on commercialization and revenue generation, including plans to feature Aurasma in products from other parts of HP – notably PPS, where the technology is key to PPS’s strategic intent to link print back to the Internet making it an equal mobile, social, and cloud citizen with digital display technologies (e.g., smartphones, tablets, PC’s, and TV). For instance, our close collaboration with the team on the ‘HP Live Photo’ app for iOS is one of the first instances of product integration in action.

This transition will require some changes to the Aurasma business as we to move to the next stage. While a number of roles will remain largely unaffected by this, other roles within Aurasma will no longer be required going forward and some work force reduction is likely.

We will of course hold individual discussions with employees who may be potentially affected, although the timing will vary by country, and will follow the appropriate legal processes relative to reorganizing and workforce reductions. Where applicable, we have consulted with all appropriate Workers’ Councils.

We will be working with affected employees to redeploy as many as possible into other job opportunities across our business where skill sets and interests align with our business priorities.

Thank you for your continued professionalism and for your ongoing efforts in helping us build the HP Autonomy business into a tremendous success story.

My staff and I are available should you have any questions or needs.


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