HP UK veep Steve Murphy is understood to have taken voluntary redundancy ahead of mass lay-offs at the wobbling tech titan.
Murphy, who joined HP in April 2011 months after resigning from his position as UK chief at HDS, is believed to be one of more than 150 people the vendor hopes will volunteer for the chopping block.
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Sources told The Channel that he is on gardening leave having left the operation just over a week ago.
It emerged in August that HP told the government's Department for Business Innovation & Skills that 268 jobs were at risk of redundancy - a legal obligation for that many layoffs.
But those close to the company reckon HP will actually lose 166 staffers from the UK as part of the "usual process of trimming". Staff heading for the door are likely to do so willingly, claimed one source.
This headcount cutting is ahead of HP's preparations to let go 29,000 employees globally as part of CEO Meg Whitman's
desperation vision to cut costs and free up cash for R&D.
It is believed that some 1,600 HPers could eventually be at risk of redundancy in the UK although the company has yet to confirm how many people will be handed their P45s. Sources claim HP chiefs are also proposing to cut ten per cent of employees in Germany and France, and as many as 14 per cent in Sweden.
Murphy was unavailable to comment. HP said it "would like to decline on the opportunity to comment at this stage". ®