HP has just announced a "multi-year productivity initiative" that will see 27,000 employees leave the company: eight percent of HP's workforce, which numbered 349,600 in 2011. The goal of the restructuring is to generate savings between $3.0 and $3.5 billion for the company, money that will then be reinvested in HP. The company mentioned its three major areas of focus going forward, saying it will invest in cloud, big data, and security, and is trimming elsewhere to direct more resources toward those three. The layoffs are scheduled to run through the end of the company's fiscal year 2014, and some portion of the reduction will be from employees accepting an early retirement plan.

We'd heard before that HP was considering a layoff of this magnitude, and it certainly appears the company's having to take drastic steps to begin moving in the right direction. It comes after two poor quarters for HP, including a just-reported 31 percent decline in earnings in the most recent period.