Hewlett Packard or HP at one time was an American company that epitomized the American Dream: two American entrepreneurs with a lot of engineering talent, innovative ideas and hard work built their company into a shining example of how capitalism works. While this is admirable in the U.S. it apparently doesn’t play well in other nations where Americans are often considered lazy and lacking ambition. Until recently, this assessment wasn’t a problem for most Americans who simply accepted it as a mixture of envy and ignorance by those less fortunate.
What few could predict was the paradigm shift in the boardrooms of American companies that would replace American executives with a host of “international” executives most who hold U.S. workers in contempt. HP is a classic example of this new business model now implemented in what were formerly American run companies. HP’s current CEO Léo Apotheker along with most of HP's board members are not U.S. Citizens and in fact were purposely drawn from international companies as HP re-invented itself as a global entity. Apparently, American Executives aren't considered much better than other American workers so HP had to find most of these executives outside the country and having nothing but distain for the United States and its workers seems to have been a prereiqusite for the job. These executives believe the United States hasn’t done enough for the rest of the world. Hiding behind concepts such as globalism, the international leadership cadre at HP is now determined to destroy the American middle class returning the United States to what they perceive is a “level playing field”. Translation: American wages are much higher than in other parts of the world and hence, are to be slashed.
HPs simple edict: American wages are too high and should be slashed and HP is doing exactly that. Given Leo Apotheker’s track record as CEO of German software house SAP AG, this is nothing new. While at SAP, Leo established policies denying American IT workers access to SAP training while simultaneously creating unrestricted access to training programs in a number of Indian Cities. When the threat of a law suit forced SAP to open its training programs to American IT workers in the United States, SAP priced these training classes at roughly six times what an Indian IT worker would pay for the exact same training in India.
Leaving SAP for HP, Leo was determined that HP would further undermine the U.S. workforce by injecting large numbers of Indian IT workers directly into the American workforce at pay rates far below what the prevailing rates were in the American market. There should be no misunderstanding here: HP has negotiated contracts with a number of American companies to provide IT workers (consultants) working in the United States at hourly rates far below prevailing market rates. HP can do this only because they are using some highly questionable and probably illegal interpretations of American VISA processes to bring Indian Workers to the U.S. to do the work. HP knowingly pursues these business practices. Leo as is so often the case, subscribes to that tenet attributed to Attila the Hun, “It is not enough that I succeed, all others must fail”. Congratulations Leo, as of Friday HP has claimed one more victim.
What HP envisions is nothing short of a new world order in which the United States is finally put in its rightful place which Leo evidently figures is somewhere close to the bottom. As long as Leo and his henchmen continue to throw a few coins at Congress, no one in the U.S. Government is going to give a damn. Ironic actually: Obama can’t figure out how to create jobs while tens of thousands of “Guest Workers” stream into the country taking jobs from Americans.
HP is not alone in this endeavor and the lack of government oversight simply means that this trend will continue. After all, Congress isn’t getting any PAC money from out of work and under-employed IT workers.