Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

October 19, 2012

GM to hire 3,000 workers from HP

Company pushes for more in-house technology

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will hire 3,000 workers from Hewlett-Packard, part of a push to bring most of its computer technology in-house.

The HP employees, who already work on GM projects, will help the automaker toward a larger goal: improving the software technology it puts in cars and uses to run its business.

Thursday's announcement is the latest in series of technology moves at GM. The company plans to hire 10,000 programmers and software experts over the next three to five years. It also wants to shift technology work from outside firms into GM and to open four new IT centers.

The former HP workers will help GM consolidate 23 global data centers into two. And they'll try to cut GM's software applications by 40 percent so the company uses more common programs and becomes more efficient, said GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott.

They'll also find ways to automate a number of corporate functions, saving GM money that will be spent on electronic innovation, Mott said. Once the automation is done, workers will shift to developing software and dreaming up new dashboard devices.

Mott said the employee switch is about GM's needs and has nothing to do with HP's plans to cut 29,000 jobs by October of 2014. Most of the new HP hires are in the U.S., but some are overseas.

HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is the world's largest maker of personal computers. It has been hurt as consumers shift away from PCs to smartphones and tablets.

HP is preparing to release a new line of tablets and has been trying to diversify into more profitable lines of technology, such as business software and consulting.

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