Hewlett-Packard to split in two: report

Oct 06, 2014, 2:12 AM EDT
A sign is posted outside of the Hewlett-Packard headquarters on May 23, 2014 in Palo Alto, California. HP announced on Thursday that it plans to lay off an additional 11,000 to 16,000 employees over its previously scheduled mass layoffs of 34,000.
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Hewlett-Packard, a pioneer in business computers, plans to break into two parts as it separates its personal-computer and printer businesses from its technology services. USAToday reports:

As early as Monday, the tech giant plans to announce the breakup, first reported Sunday by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by other media and a person familiar with the matter.

CEO Meg Whitman, who has led a multiyear restructuring, would serve as chairman of the PC and printer business and CEO of the separate company, which would be chaired by HP's current lead independent director Patricia Russo, according to several published reports.

An HP breakup, which has been under discussion for more than a year, would follow recent corporate splits as companies aim to satisfy shareholders by sharpening their focus. On Tuesday, online-auction giant eBay said it was spinning off its PayPal payments-processing unit.

Meg Whitman shelved plans to spin off Hewlett-Packard Co.'s personal-computer business when she became chief executive officer three years ago. Now, she’s reversing her position. Bloomberg Businessweek reports:

After struggling to turn around the company since becoming CEO in 2011, Whitman is adopting a plan to split Hewlett-Packard’s PC and printer divisions off from its enterprise hardware and service groups, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

It’s a scenario she rejected as recently as last year, saying more time was needed to restore the company’s stature as the innovator that put Silicon Valley on the map.

“If you try to hive a division off, it’s really hard because you almost have to recreate the whole thing,” Whitman told Bloomberg News in 2011.

Last year, Whitman defended her strategy for the company, saying it “will be one of the great comeback stories in American business.”