HP CEO: 'Googles, Facebooks calling us' due to HDD shortage

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman says big companies like Google and Facebook are calling HP to get servers because of the shortage of hard disk drives.

After Hewlett-Packard reported earnings today, CEO Meg Whitman said that the Googles and Facebooks of the world are coming to HP to get servers because of the dearth of hard disk drives.

Whitman was responding to a question from an analyst during today's earnings conference call about companies like Google and Facebook building their own servers and not getting them from the traditional sources--PC makers like HP and Dell.

"We hear all the time that people are building their own servers. There are a few...that are building their own servers," she said.

Whitman continued. "[But] right now, they're not building their own servers because they can't get the disk drives. So they're calling us...Yes, the Googles, the Facebooks are doing some of that, but I will tell you, they're all calling us right now because they don't have the ability to get the drives," she said, addressing the hard disk drive shortage that has resulted from the flooding in Thailand.

Whitman went on to address the hard disk shortage in more detail. "I will say that it remains pretty dynamic. I've been on the phone with the heads of all four of our disk drive partners. And I'm not even sure they have a complete picture about when they are going to be back up and running," she said.

HP responded quickly to the situation in October, according to Whitman. "First of all, we reacted really fast to this. We set up a war room. We began pulling inventory and made strategic buys of hard drives back in early October. So I think we will get more than our fair share of drives because of the long-term relationships that we have with our suppliers because we were on this really fast."

The next two quarters will be dicey overall, she said. "But I think this is going to affect the industry pretty dramatically because it's PCs, it's servers, it's storage. And I think there's going to be some shortages in Q1 and Q2. I think we're as well positioned as we can be but I think this is going to be pretty tough for the industry."

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