HP CEO Meg Whitman reportedly wants to decide this month what HP will do with its market-leading PC business.
CEO Meg Whitman
reportedly will decide this month what will happen with the
tech vendor's $41 billion market-leading PC business.
speaking at a conference on women in leadership sponsored by Forbes Oct. 4,
reportedly told the audience that "uncertainty is not our friend here" and said
she wanted to settle the matter faster than the company previously had planned,
according to a report
by Bloomberg Businessweek
have to make a final decision about what to do with the PC division," she said.
"It's a decision I want to make much faster than my predecessor. I want to make
it before the end of October."
who was appointed to HP's board of directors earlier this year, was named CEO
Sept. 22 after Leo Apotheker-who had been in the job for less than a year-was
forced out amid months of downward financial forecasts, spiraling stock prices
and several strategic decisions and reversals. One of those decisions, which
Apotheker announced in August, was to spin off or sell the company's Personal
Systems Group to enable HP to more easily focus on enterprise software and
decision was met with mixed reviews, with some analysts agreeing with it and
others saying Apotheker was making a mistake by ditching such a business with
such a large customer base. When Whitman was brought on board, speculation
about the PC business arose, with some wondering if the move meant HP would
under Apotheker was to decide by the end of the year what to do with the PC
the talk at the conference, Whitman
that the October timeline for a decision on the PC unit "may
slip a little bit." However, she stressed that the process for evaluating the
issue was going faster that it had under Apotheker, and that she was remaining
"open-minded" about the PC business' future.
PC industry is seeing sales slow, to the point that several analyst firms have
cut their market forecasts for the year and into 2012. They have pointed to
several factors, including the uncertain economy and the growing popularity of
other devices, including tablets and smartphones.
forward, PCs will no longer be a market by themselves, but part of a larger
device market that ranges from smart televisions to the most-basic-feature
phones," Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said in a statement in
June. "Within this market, consumers and professionals will increasingly use
the combination of devices that best suits their particular needs."
in announcing his decision to spin off the PC business noted the
commoditization of hardware and the low margins. However, others in the tech
industry have said they see a bright future for PCs. Mooly
Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group
last month during the Intel Developer Forum that the industry currently sells
about 1 million PCs a day, and that that number is expected to grow. Dell
CEO Michael Dell
said in September that PCs remain a key part of his
are a billion and a half PCs in the world, and while Gartner
[analysts] change their estimates here and there, they also estimate there
will be 2 billion PCs in the world by 2014," Dell said in an interview with the
Financial Times at the time. "When I look at that, I think the idea that the PC
is no longer here is complete nonsense. You see PCs, tablets, you see
smartphones. But those other devices aren't necessarily replacing the PCs, so
we are very committed to that part of the business, as part of this broader,
end-to-end IT solutions company."