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Some things never change at HP, regardless of the highly-paid hood ornament listed as CEO. So we learned this week as word leaked out that close to 2,000 workers have taken voluntary severance packages and left the company.

HP began offering the packages back on April 1 - the start of new CEO Mark Hurd's rule. Staffers in the US and Puerto Rico were given between five and 14 months of pay, depending on their length of employment at HP. Most of the employees who accepted the deals worked in the printing and imaging divisions in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Hurd is well acquainted with using severance packages as a long-term cost-cutting move. At NCR, "very senior people" were offered packages to leave en masse according to a former employee, while other managers were hit with massive pay cuts.

"There was a huge exodus after that," the ex-NCR staffer told The Register.

Hurd's predecessor Carly Fiorina was infamously known as the pinkslip princess for the countless waves of layoffs that took place during her time at HP.

The moves at HP have already rattled people living in Boise, Idaho - the home to much of HP's printing work.

"I am dreading this news," Sally Field, a worker at a child care business told The Idaho Statesman. "We have a lot of wonderful HP families."

The paper said a number of the former HP staffers have already put their houses on the market. Local observers also noted that many of the employees were older people with families and not young, single staffers - making their loss of a job especially damaging.

HP has yet to return our calls seeking comment. ®

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