Hewlett-Packard will lay off 28,000 to 33,000 workers as it prepares to split into two companies, it announced Tuesday. The move is the latest in a long time of turnaround efforts for the beleaguered HP.
When the company’s growth stalled in the late 1990’s, then-CEO Lew Platt also opted for a split, spinning off HP’s original medical products and test and measurement devices unit. The next decade would bring a string of mega-mergers under a long line of various CEOs, starting with now-Presidential-hopeful Carly Fiorina and her $19 billion Compaq acquisition in 2002, then the $13.9 billion purchase of IT services company Electronic Data Systems under Mark Hurd and finally the $11.1 billion acquisition of Autonomy under Leo Apotheker.
Then came the era of now-CEO Meg Whitman, who’s been at the helm since 2011. A look back at Fortune’s coverage of the state of HP shortly after Whitman took the reins reveals a company in crisis, emphasizing the task ahead for the new CEO:
The profile also reflects on where HP would end up almost four years later:
That anecdote from nearly five years ago is telling, and may give further insight into where Whitman hopes to bring the company with her latest move–one that aims to make HP (HPQ) a leading player in cloud services. Still, that path is a challenging one: Rivals like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM are already dominating the cloud market, and it won’t be easy for HP to break through.