February 29, 2012, 11:04 AM — Tech giants IBM and Hewlett-Packard are laying off nearly 1,500 workers combined.
Big Blue laid off about 1,200 workers over the past few days, Bloomberg reported, with most of the lost jobs coming from the U.S. and some others from Canada.
IBM offered no details about which divisions or projects were affected by the layoffs. IBM has more than 433,000 workers globally.
There was no such mystery regarding HP's layoffs: They're coming right from the company's struggling webOS unit, which was temporarily slated to be shut down last summer after the TouchPad disaster as part of former CEO Leo Apotheker's sweeping strategy changes, but was spared after Apotheker was fired.
New CEO Meg Whitman announced in December that HP would make webOS open source, essentially turning most development work over to people not on HP's payroll. The news no doubt came as a relief to the webOS unit's 600 or so employees, who walked into an "all-hands" meeting on December 9 probably wondering if they still had jobs.
Unfortunately, for about 275 of these webOS workers, their relief was short-lived, though they probably shouldn't have been surprised.
"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," an HP spokeswoman said in a statement.
HP has about 324,000 workers globally.