Hewlett Packard recently announced some major housecleaning, merging its PC and printer groups in a move the company hopes will boost profits that have stalled in the wake of the tablet revolution.
“This combination will bring together two businesses where HP has established global leadership,” said Whitman. “By providing the best in customer-focused innovation and operational efficiency, we believe we will create a winning scenario for customers, partners and shareholders.”
The combined unit will be headed by Todd Bradley, who worked as the executive vice president of HP’s PC division since 2005. Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of the former printing division, will retire.
Whitman is following former HP CEO Carly Fiorina’s playbook, as she had combined the two groups during her tenure. Mark Hurd recombined the two units after Fiorina’s departure.
In a blog about the move, Fiorina remarked that the company’s board has been dysfunctional for far too long. Instead of cost-cutting, the board needs to look towards long term value, she commented.
“Over the last several years HP has seen too much cutting for short-term gain and not enough investment for long-term success,” Fiorina said.
The reorganization is a huge move for HP as it tries to regain its footing. Its PC market has washed away in the face of tablets, and its printing division is struggling as more people share more photos and documents online and print less. The change will be to be a deciding test for Meg Whitman, who replaced Leo Apotheker, who was fired for such controversial decisions as a plan to spin off the PC group and his decision to kill off HP’s webOS platform.
Whether the move comes down to cost cutting or a consolidation of resources, only time will tell if it ultimately improves the struggling brand.