HP chair favors 'HP PC' in name of spin-off--report

Hewlett-Packard's chairman favors keeping HP in the name of a spin-off of its PC business. He also talked about resistance to innovation among investors.

Earlier this week, Hewlett-Packard Chairman Ray Lane said to a trade publication that he favors using "HP" in the name of a spun off PC business. He also explained that investors don't necessarily like innovation.

HP Chairman Ray Lane.
HP chairman Ray Lane. Hewlett-Packard

In a CRN interview, Lane said he's "lobbying, and I don't have to lobby very hard" to call it the "HP PC Business. Call it HP." It would be a "sister company" like Agilent, which HP spun off in 1999, he said to CRN.

Lane also re-emphasized that a final decision has not yet been made. "If...we can't offer a better proposition to customers and investors...it stays inside HP."

Lane also told the publication that "everybody assumes" that investors want a technology company to innovate. "But there are a lot of investors that don't want that. A lot of investors are in HP for the cash flows, in HP for the returns of those cash flows to stockholders, and actually don't like big innovative steps."

He also told CRN that the PC business is "pretty much a commodity business...packaging Windows"--what the article further explained as "packaging Windows on Intel technologies." Lane also reiterated that the PC business produces huge cash flows but low profitability.

Last month, HP announced its intention to "evaluate strategic alternatives" for its PC business when it released earnings. At that time, it also shut down its WebOS-related hardware business, which included the TouchPad tablet.

HP is the world's largest PC maker, with revenues of $40.1 billion in the most recent fiscal year.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Find Your Tech Type

Take our tech personality quiz and enter for a chance to win* high-tech specs!