Mobile

HP sacks over 500 WebOS employees

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

The inevitable layoffs for workers in HP’s webOS division began this week, with the company planning to let as many as 525 workers go, reports All Things Digital.

After HP killed its webOS hardware business out of the blue in August, the company had made it clear that downsizing was inevitable. While the company says it’s still committed to webOS as a software platform, that doesn’t mean much for the workers in the webOS hardware division.

HP confirmed to All Things Digital that layoffs were happening: “As communicated on August 18, HP will discontinue the development of webOs devices within the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, which ends Oct. 31, 2011,” a spokesperson said. “As part of this decision, the webOS GBU is undergoing a reduction in workforce. Today’s actions are part of this initiative. During this time, we stand by our commitment to our webOS customers and will work to ensure that support and service for customers are not adversely affected. HP is exploring ways to leverage webOS software.”

While expected, it’s still sad to see HP’s webOS team breaking apart. I’m not sure how the company will be able to keep its remaining webOS employees on task when it’s fairly obvious the mobile OS, which HP snagged as part of its $1.2 billion Palm purchase last year, doesn’t have much of a future. The company has discussed licensing the OS to other manufacturers, and a number of companies are rumored to be eyeing a webOS purchase.