Hewlett Packard is laying off 275 employees from its WebOS team as part of its effort to develop an open-source version of the mobile operating system.
"As WebOS continues the transition from making mobile devices to open-source software, it no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before," an HP spokesperson said in a statement. "This creates a smaller and more nimble team that is well equipped to deliver an open source WebOS and sustain HP's commitment to the software over the long term."
HP is working to redeploy employees affected by these changes to other roles at the company, the spokesperson said
Tuesday's job cuts, representing just under half of HP's remaining WebOS team of 600 employees, are the first the WebOS business unit has seen last September, when HP let go an estimated 525 employees prior to shuttering its WebOS hardware business.
Since then, many WebOS employees have left HP of their own accord, a trend that CEO Meg Whitman, in an interview with CRN last month, described as understandable given the uncertainty the business unit faced prior to her coming on board. She also acknowledged that more employees might follow suit in the wake of her decision to open source WebOS.
"Now there is a clear vision of what we're trying to accomplish ... I think people are signing on. Some are going to sign off, and that's OK, because we actually now have a way forward," Whitman said last month.
In HP's Q1 earnings last week, Whitman said HP will need to cut costs and stabilize its financial situation before it can make the long-term R&D investments it needs to reverse recent slides in core businesses.
HP last month released the source code for Enyo 2.0, its WebOS development environment, and said it is on course to release the full open source version of WebOS in September.