HP to split into two separate businesses – corporate and devices

6 Oct 2014

Image by Don DeBold via Flickr

HP, one of the world’s biggest computer manufacturers, is to split into two companies – a business focused on PC and printer products, as well as a corporate hardware and services business.

The decision appears to be the rehashing of a controversial plan from a few years ago when HP made a number of disastrous decisions, including plans to sell off its PC division.

The move is in keeping with similar trends by other tech companies, such as eBay, which is splitting from its PayPal division to allow it to pursue its own destiny.

It is believed the move will give HP’s PC and printer business a better chance at long-term survival.

HP CEO Meg Whitman is likely to become chairman of the new hardware business, which will be headed by Dion Wiesler. Whitman will focus her efforts as CEO of the corporate and hardware business to profit from opportunities in cloud, big data and other enterprise.

The Wall Street Journal reported the new structure could be confirmed as soon as today.

HP’s PC and printer group revenue fell 6.7pc last year to US$55.9bn, and the company lost the No 1 position in the world for PC manufacturing to China’s Lenovo.

HP had also been understood to have been attempting to buy and sell a number of divisions, including its PC division to Dell and Lenovo, and its IT services businesses to Wipro and Infosys, but has been rebuffed.

The Silicon Valley giant had also been interested in acquiring storage giant EMC, but a complicated balance sheet and internal turmoil stymied its efforts.

The purpose of the restructure will be to give the tech giant the clarity and resources to steer ahead into the future.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years