The world's biggest maker of PCs said that the cuts, representing around 8% of its global workforce, will slash its costs by up to $3.5bn (£2.2bn) a year.
In a statement, HP said that the majority of the funds "will be reinvested back into the company" to enable more "investments in people, processes and technology".
HP has taken the step as part of a productivity initiative intended to "simplify business processes", but it also comes at a time of increasing competition in the computing market from rival products, such as Apple's iPad.
Around 20,000 of HP's 350,000-strong global workforce is based in the UK, but the company said that it was too early to indicate where the planned job cuts would fall.
"While some of these actions are difficult because they involve the loss of jobs, they are necessary to improve execution and to fund the long-term health of the company.
"We are setting HP on a path to extend our global leadership and deliver the greatest value to customers and shareholders."
Also in the changes, Mike Lynch is to be replaced as head of the HP Autonomy division by Bill Veghte, HP's chief strategy officer.
Lynch founded UK company Autonomy and guided it from startup to software giant, but his future has been in doubt since the firm was bought by HP last year for more than $10bn.
Shares in HP were down 3% in trading yesterday after the California-based firm reported a 31% fall in profits in the second quarter to $1.6bn. Revenue in the period fell 3% year-on-year to $30.7bn.
"We are making progress in our multi-year effort to make HP simpler, more efficient and better for customers, employees, and shareholders," said Whitman, who took over as HP boss after predecessor Leo Apotheker was ousted.
"This quarter we exceeded our previously-provided outlook and are executing against our strategy, but we still have a lot of work to do."