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HP to Shutter Some Offices to Cut Costs

Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to close an undisclosed number of offices worldwide over the next four years to cut real estate costs.

The Palo Alto-based company, which has already disclosed plans to cut jobs and reduce the number of sites used to store crucial computer data, is still deciding which locations to close, spokesman Ryan Donovan said.

Sites that remain open will be those likely to be occupied by employees over a number of years, house large numbers of employees or groups that generate high amounts of revenue, Donovan said. Others will be kept open for legal reasons or if they have another special purpose, he said.

He declined to say how much HP expected to save by the move but said some of the savings would be poured into updating offices that are kept open.

Many of the "core" sites that remain open will be upgraded to include desks and other equipment designed specifically for employees who work only occasionally at HP offices, Donovan said. The outfitting will include small glass-encased rooms where workers can make private phone calls and workstations that are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Last year, the computer and printer maker disclosed plans to cut 15,300 jobs. As of April 30, the company had shed 8,100 positions. As of the fiscal year that ended in October, its headcount was 150,000.

In May, HP said it planned to cut costs by $1 billion per year by reducing the number of data centers it uses to house e-mail, sales records and other business data to six from 85.

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