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2 Idaho tech firms announce cutbacks

SHARE 2 Idaho tech firms announce cutbacks

BOISE — Wall Street woes continue to ripple through Idaho's technology companies, with Extended Systems and Hewlett-Packard announcing more cutbacks.

Extended Systems employees will take between 10 and 20 percent mandatory pay cuts, and the company's chief executive officer will take a 30 percent cut to make it through the slow summer season. Hewlett-Packard employees also have been asked to take paid vacations and pay cuts to help the company's bottom line.

Both companies said only temporary cuts, not layoffs, were considered necessary. About 120 Extended Systems employees and up to 3,800 Hewlett-Packard workers could be affected in the Boise area.

Both firms already have laid off employees this year.

Extended Systems CEO Steve Simpson said his software company, with about 300 employees worldwide, has had to realign after a deal to merge with Palm Inc. was called off earlier this summer.

Simpson said the pay cuts will last for at least three months and perhaps as long as six months.

Hewlett-Packard last week announced a voluntary worldwide program that asks its 90,000 employees to take up to a 10 percent pay cut, use up vacation time or do a combination of both.

Because the program is voluntary, employees also can choose to do nothing, a spokesman at the company's Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters said. The program is expected to last through October, the end of the company's fiscal year.

Hewlett-Packard also announced further travel restrictions and said it is tightening the use of company cars and cellular phones.