HP eyes combined PC-printer unit, report says

It's unclear what consumers and corporate buyers would get from a mashed-up Hewlett-Packard printer and PC business.

Hewlett-Packard's increasingly commodity business units—PCs and printers—will reportedly be combined in a sweeping reorganization.

According to AllThingsD, HP will combine the personal systems group and printing unit. Vyomesh Joshi, chief of the printing unit, will leave the company. Joshi has repeatedly been a CEO candidate as HP swapped leaders like NFL teams change out football coaches. Todd Bradley, head of the personal systems unit, will lead the new unit.

The larger question: Would this reorg make sense?

From a financial perspective, a combined unit could solve a few problems. Consider:

  • The profit margin picture for the combined unit would improve. Printers are a cash cow, but facing slower growth.
  • A combined unit would hide any troubles with the PC business should it stumble going forward.
  • PCs and printers could be lumped into a slow-growth mature unit that would be easier to separate.
  • Printers and PCs go together and a combined unit may be able to create bundles to entice IT buyers. A combined unit may also be able to drive more innovation between the two devices going forward.

Here’s a look at the financial profiles for both units, which accounted for exactly 50 percent of HP’s first-quarter sales.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "HP concocts combined printer, PC unit: Does it make sense?"

About the author

    Larry Dignan is editor in chief of ZDNet and editorial director of CNET's TechRepublic. He has covered the technology and financial-services industries since 1995.

     

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