HP's head of PCs wants quick spin-off, says report

The ranking executive at Hewlett-Packard's Personal Systems Group is pushing for a fast decision on the fate of the PC business.

The top executive at Hewlett-Packard's personal computer division is hoping to see a spin-off as soon as possible, according to a report today in The Wall Street Journal.

Todd Bradley, head of HP's personal computer division
Todd Bradley, head of HP's personal computer division Hewlett-Packard

Todd Bradley, who heads the Personal Systems Group, told the newspaper that he wants to see HP make the spin-off happen "as soon as they can." But he added that it may not happen before the end of the year.

Bradley told the Journal that the absence of a clear plan for the PC business is causing "some uncertainty" among customers.

In related news, HP distributed an e-mail today entitled "HP's new direction: The real story," as part of a campaign to allay customer fears. In the e-mail is a link to a Web page with a Q&A that includes questions such as, "What's the future of HP's Personal Systems Group (PSG)?" and "What will happen to the product warranties?"

Answering the first question, HP reiterated that its "preferred course is to spin off our PC business into a separate company, creating a more agile organization to help us better anticipate change and quickly respond to customers. In the meantime, it will be business as usual for PSG. We will continue to develop our roadmap for future products."

HP has also been publishing newspaper ads with similar themes about how a spin-off will benefit HP and its customers.

Bradley also told the Journal that an independent PC company would be able to make tablets based on operating systems from Microsoft or Google, as opposed to just WebOS.

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

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.

 

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