Hewlett-Packard (HP) is to split its PC and printer division back into two separate units, just five months after it decided to bundle the two together (CRN, 24 January).
The move is among the first made by new chief executive Mark Hurd and his management team since he took over from Carly Fiorina in April.
However, HP was keen to play down rumours that the split would allow it to spin off one of the divisions.
In a statement, the firm told CRN: “The announcement is centered on simplifying the organisation from a management perspective. Regardless of the management structure, the imaging and printing group (IPG) and personal systems group (PSG) will continue to work tightly together on key areas.
“Mark Hurd has repeatedly said there are no current plans to spin off any part of the business.”
Gary Barnett, research director at Ovum, said the vendor had made the right decision.
“The two are distinct businesses. Bundling them together caused a blurring of advantages and weaknesses,” he said. “The separation is healthy and will allow HP to concentrate on the profitability of its PC business with much greater clarity and focus.”
Andy Dow, commercial director at distributor Westcoast, said: “With a company the size of HP it is not possible to simplify things overnight. It is a long, slow process but it is moving in the right direction. I would say the decision to split the divisions will have more impact on HP internally than on its channel.”
But Ian Brooks, managing director of VAR ibbd, said HP should focus more on promoting its channel rather than creating different divisions.
“HP would be better off providing a programme for its entire range of products rather than one for each division. It has two assets as far as I can see: products and partners. If the channel is so valuable to HP I would like to see more evidence of it telling customers this is the case,” he said.
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