HP plotting PC spin-off, Autonomy purchase?

Summary:HP CEO Leo Apotheker is reportedly plotting a bold move to remake the company by shedding its PC unit.

HP is reportedly planning to buy Autonomy for $10 billion and unveil plans to spin off its PC business.

According to Bloomberg, HP may announce these plans as early as today. At the least, HP will have to address the issue when it reports its quarterly earnings later today.

If such moves play out, HP will dramatically change the profile of the company and look more like long-time rival IBM.

IBM shed its PC business---the unit that became Lenovo---and ditched other low margin businesses such as printers, which became Lexmark. During that transformation, IBM doubled down on software and services. Those businesses have a better margin profile and are more resilient to global economic fluctuations.

HP's move to shed the PC business would definitely come at a tough time for the company. Consumer PC demand has lagged, but the corporate upgrade cycle remains solid.

Former HP CEO Mark Hurd had argued that the company needed to sell a complete stack of gear---including PCs. Leo Apotheker, current CEO, obviously begs to differ.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Hardware


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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