HP CEO Whitman 'satisfied' with PC growth, defends enterprise unit

HP CEO Whitman 'satisfied' with PC growth, defends enterprise unit

Summary: Meg Whitman sounded more optimistic during Thursday's shareholders call than previous quarters, highlighting PC market growth in commercial segments.

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Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman has warned in the past that the tech giant is still in the midst of a "multi-year journey" to recovery, even advising against expecting revenue growth in 2014.

However, HP surprised Wall Street with better-than-expected results for the first quarter, largely (and surprisingly) in part to the the PC unit, which taken as a whole did grow revenue. (Consumer PC sales still fell 3 percent.)

During the shareholders conference call on Thursday, Whitman boasted immediately that HP is now in "a stronger position than we have been in quite some time."

Whitman attributed part of this to HP's response to the industry-wide acceleration toward a "new style of IT," while touting HP's converged cloud and storage portfolios in particular.

In the enterprise group, which did grow revenue by one percent, Whitman hinted at continued struggles anyway, reminding shareholders that HP is still in the "early innings" of rolling out "more proactive sales approach."

"Over time we do expect to improve margins in this business," Whitman said about the enterprise unit, adding later that she is pleased with the way things are going overall.

Whitman also reiterated that PC market contractions are finally slowing, particularly in commercial segments.

The lesson being learned, according to Whitman, is that commercial customers are now understanding that employees do want a tablet, but they also want a PC to get their work done when at their desks.

Contrasting it with the PC business, Whitman clarified during the Q&A session that the enterprise department turnaround "has nothing to do with transactional business."

"These are long-term contracts, so it takes awhile to turn the ship around," Whitman defended, concluding that results and improvements are panning out so far just as she and chief financial officer Cathie Lesjak predicted they would.

Topics: Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, PCs

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7 comments
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  • Good point

    I think the Post-PC idiots read into this and realize that fact. "The lesson being learned, according to Whitman, is that commercial customers are now understanding that employees do want a tablet, but they also want a PC to get their work done when at their desks."
    Ram U
    • Actually, you've made a short-sighted comment

      This is just the beginning of the Post-PC era. Remember, that tablets were never designed to replace the traditional laptop or desktop, but rather complement them. However, we will reach a point in the not too distant future where the majority of people, even at corporate level will never need a PC at their desk. It's like Steve Jobs said, not everyone needs to drive a truck.

      Right now applications on tablets need to catch up. Once that happens, productivity on tablets will increase dramatically.
      NitzMan
  • Bahahaha... Lesson learned

    All those stupid decisions HP made in the last 3 years... HP could have crushed Lenovo if they were focused on PC rather than making Google toys....
    Owl:Net
  • Short lived success?

    Just wonder how many of those XP users who buy new PC's will now be happy with Windows 8 PC's? Or is the real news that HP is selling more PC's but with most of them being Windows 7.
    JohnnyES-25227553276394558534412264934521
  • A point in time is not a trend

    This sounds like HP latching on to one point on a graph, wanting to believe that it represents a trend. The reality is that PCs are not a growth industry, as many statistics have reported. And printers are definitely yesterday's means for portable information. This is an increasingly mobile world, and HP has both failed to keep up with that reality and fallen behind it.
    Whitman is an able administrator, but competent administration does not advance companies: vision and reaching for the future does that.
    Quidproquorum
  • HP can say bye to server market

    With the recent decision by HP remove access to system updates unless you are paying for support, we had a 5 second conversation which went like this. "What.... Dell works just as well." Ok, of course you have support on your production servers, but our LAB servers are the previous production servers. Do I want to pay a premium on 3 year old servers just to get a BIOS update or driver? No. I predict that HP server market will take a big dive next quarter.
    cabozone@...
  • What does "Better than expected" REALLY mean?

    and, in counterthought, what does "worse than expected" truly mean? Does it mean that "analysts" are inept, and incapable (or undesireous) of really understanding the business economics? Does it mean that analysts expectations are really worth putting any faith in, since they are so often WRONG, whether over or under estimating? Why do we allow these analysts to set OUR expectations, when we can quickly see how often they are wrong, if we ever bother to really check? How about sponsoring an investment system where analysts can be severely punished for misleading investors regarding expectations for any specific business??? Why, oh why do we continue to allow ourselves to be bamboozled by spin doctors??? Whatever happened to prudent investing?
    Willnott