HP Probes Employee Exodus to GM

    Though General Motors announced in October that it would take on 3,000 IT workers from Hewlett-Packard who had been doing its outsourced IT work previously, HP’s not so happy that a batch of IT workers in Austin, Texas, decided to move to GM on their own.

    HP has petitioned a Texas court to depose two former HP managers about why 18 people “resigned en masse and without notice” and “immediately began working for General Motors in Austin in GM’s new IT Innovation Center.” It claims the two managers, Gregg Hansen and Todd MacKenzie, might have violated employment contracts that prohibit them from soliciting other workers to follow them, according to InfoWorld.

    GM announced this fall that it was bringing 90 percent of its outsourced IT work back in house. It said it would hire 500 workers in Austin, which was to be the first of three planned “innovation centers.” The company has dozens of job openings posted at the center, according to The Austin Business Journal.

    HP says at least four teams within its organization were affected by the sudden departures. It says six direct reports of Hansen, a former director of information technology III, and three direct reports of MacKenzie, a former director of information technology I, were among those who up and left, the Business Journal says.

    “HP expects that additional resignations will follow as the departed employees will likely seek to build out their teams by filling in with subordinate employees from HP,” the court papers say. 

    It’s not clear what HP hopes to accomplish by deposing the two managers, but according to a Bloomberg Businessweek story, HP already has lost dozens of high-ranking employees to GM.

    With HP in the midst of massive layoffs — InfoWorld reports that by Oct. 31, the end of its fiscal year, the company had cut 17,800 of the 29,000 it plans to lay off — the exodus to GM seems unsurprising.

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