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HP officially splitting into two companies (update)

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 5, 2014
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HP's home-focused and business divisions have frequently seemed at odds with each other, and apparently the company agrees. The Wall Street Journal claims that the tech giant is about to split into two companies, one focused on PCs and the other dedicated solely to corporate hardware and services. If the report is accurate, the separation could be announced as early as Monday. The exact reasoning behind the move hasn't been mentioned, but the PC-centric group would be headed by one of its existing executives, Dion Weisler; current CEO Meg Whitman would run the business group and keep an eye on the other company by serving as its chairman of the board. However true the rumor may be, such a move wouldn't be all that surprising -- much of the computing industry has been restructuring and rescaling to cope with a world where the PC's role is rapidly evolving.

Update: Recode also says it's aware of the split, and has an explanation for it. Supposedly, HP had no luck in early talks to sell its PC division to Dell or Lenovo. It had similar problems offloading server and services groups, and a merger with the data storage gurus at EMC also wasn't meant to be. The breakup would effectively revive plans shelved when CEO Leo Apotheker got the boot in 2011; getting rid of less successful products (in this case, PCs) would improve the chances of an EMC merger or similar deals.

Update 2: HP has now confirmed the news. In a filing with the SEC, the company states that it plans to split into two publicly traded companies. Its consumer-focused PC, tablet, and printing efforts will continue on under the HP banner, while a new company named Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will focus on "enterprise technology infrastructure" and "software and services businesses." Meg Whitman, the current CEO of HP, will take the reins at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, while Dion Weisler, the company's EVP for Printing and Personal Systems, will lead the new HP.

The company also announced an increase in the number of layoffs for this financial year. It had previously estimated 45,000-50,000 employees would be leaving the company, but that figure has now risen to 55,000.

In this article: business, computers, desktop, hp, laptop, pc, split
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