HP CEO Whitman: PC spin-off still in play, Autonomy deal too

Whitman reiterated that "HP matters" and indicated that the grand plan for the company remains the same.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

New HP CEO Meg Whitman said the company's strategy, which revolves around a PC spin off, a purchase of Autonomy and finding value for WebOS, stands.

In her first words to analysts and investors, Whitman reiterated that "HP matters" and indicated that the grand plan for the company remains the same. She said HP would work on operations and hitting financial targets. Whitman said:

Going forward, HP will have no higher priority than to do everything in our power to meet the challenges of today's macroeconomic environment and frankly improve our operational and financial performance. At the same time, we have to deliver the world-class products, solutions, and services our customers have come to expect from HP. We understand that our performance is under intense scrutiny and we will take the necessary actions to get HP back on track. That isn't something we can do overnight. It's going to take time.

Whitman reiterated that she understands the investment community and the need to hit numbers, but believes the strategy is right. She added that HP has to determine whether it wants to spin off the PC unit "as fast as we can."

Related: HP's CEO carousel continues: Whitman officially in, Apotheker out

HP CFO Cathie Lesjak said the company is seeing soft sales in Europe and the public sector, but can hit its current earnings targets. However, there is "less certainty" on the revenue outlook.

Whitman and executive chairman Ray Lane argued that the company's strategy was on target. She added:

With regard to the potential spinoff of PSG, we're committed to doing work right now to determine the best path forward and we expect the board to make a determination by the end of the calendar year if not sooner. This decision is solely based on the value to and investors and value to customers. Second, the Autonomy acquisition is proceeding as planned and is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year and third, we continue to explore options to optimize the value of WebOS software.

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