HP to merge PC and printer unit: report

Hewlett-Packard's commodity business units — PCs and printers — will reportedly be combined in a sweeping reorganisation.

Hewlett-Packard's commodity business units — PCs and printers — will reportedly be combined in a sweeping reorganisation.

According to AllThingsD, HP will combine the personal systems group and printing unit. Vyomesh Joshi, chief of the printing unit, will leave the company. Joshi has repeatedly been a CEO candidate, as HP swaps leaders like football teams change out coaches.

The leadership change up saw HP announce plans for some eyebrow-raising decisions, including the plan to shutter the company's webOS-powered phone and tablet business, and the talks around spinning off the PC group into a completely different business unit. As ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman took the reins from ousted chief Leo Apotheker, these decisions were reversed. Whitman announced that the company would keep its PC business after all, while open sourcing the webOS platform with a view to perhaps getting back into mobile hardware in the next 18 months.

AllThingsD is reporting that the new PC and printer unit will be headed up by Todd Bradley, who is the current head of HP's Personal Systems Group.

The larger question: would this reorganisation of the business make sense?

From a financial perspective, a combined unit could solve a few problems:

  • The profit-margin picture for the combined unit would improve. Printers are a cash cow, but are facing slower growth
  • A combined unit would hide any troubles with the PC business, should it stumble going forward
  • PCs and printers could be lumped in to a slow-growth mature unit that would be easier to separate
  • Printers and PCs go together, and a combined unit may be able to create bundles to entice IT buyers. A combined unit may also be able to drive more innovation between the two devices, going forward.

Below is a look at the financial profiles for both units, which accounted for exactly 50 per cent of HP's first-quarter sales.

HP's Personal Systems Group results

(Credit: HP)

HP's Imaging and Printing Group results

(Credit: HP)

Luke Hopewell also contributed to this article.

Via ZDNet US