HP Splits PC and Printer Units, Hires Exec

Former PalmOne CEO R. Todd Bradley is tapped to lead a re-established PC group as HP reverses an earlier combination of the printer and PC units.

Hewlett-Packard Co., five months after combining its personal computer and printing businesses, on Monday separated the two and appointed a new head of the PC unit.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company appointed R. Todd Bradley as the new executive vice president of the PSG (Personal Systems Group).

Bradley, 46, had served as CEO and president of handheld device maker PalmOne Inc. over the past four years, and before that was at computer maker Gateway Inc.

The restructuring move by HP CEO Mark Hurd reverses a decision by his predecessor, Carly Fiorina.

Fiorinas decision had been the latest in an effort to consolidate businesses. Last year she had combined the enterprise systems and storage businesses.

The decision to merge PSG and the Imaging and Printing Group was seem as an effort by Fiorina to better coordinate marketing and management among the two businesses.

It also was seen by many industry observers as a way of quelling demands by some analysts for HP to spin off some of its businesses, such as the printing or PCs units.

It also came in the midst of a number of changes in the competitive PC landscape—less than a year after Gateway bought eMachines Inc. and a month after IBM announced it was selling its PC business to Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more about Fiorinas departure.

The hiring of Bradley highlights CEO Hurds intentions for the PC group, an analyst said.

"More important than the hire itself is the restructuring. I applaud that," said Roger Kay, an analyst with IDC.

"The PSG needs to be a stand-alone business. It needs to have its own leader, and that leader needs to be reporting in at the top."

The arrival of Bradley also makes a PC spin-off a lot less likely, at least for now, Kay said.

"You dont hire a new guy to take a company out," he said.

In a prepared statement Monday, Hurd praised the work of Vyomesh Joshi, who had assumed the role of executive vice president of the combined Imaging and Personal Systems Group.

Joshi will return to his duties as head of the $24 billion Imaging and Printing Group, HPs most profitable business unit.

"Under VJs leadership, the PC business has continued to grow and improve its profit margins, and Id like to congratulate him on those efforts," Hurd said.

"Now, by managing PSG and IPG as separate, highly focused organizations, we can further sharpen our competitiveness and improve our cost structures."

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