HP Backpedals, Decides Not to Sell Personal Systems Group
HP has done a 180-degree turn on its earlier decision to sell or spin off its Personal Systems Group, calling it the “right decision” for the company.
In a statement, HP President and CEO Meg Whitman explained HP’s decision to hold on to the division rather than go forward with a divestiture. “HP objectively evaluated the strategic, financial and operational impact of spinning off PSG,” she said. “It’s clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees.
“HP is committed to PSG, and together we are stronger,” she said.
In August 2011, HP announced it was planning to sell or spin off its PC Division as then-CEO Leo Apotheker attempted to reshape the company into an enterprise powerhouse. The move was questioned by the tech community at large and, some might argue, was the final nail in the coffin of Apotheker’s career at HP — he was replaced by Whitman a month later.
One of the questions still in play is the fate of webOS — HP’s much-hyped but underwhelming OS designed as part of Apotheker’s vision of one OS for any device, be it tablet, smartphone or PC. Rumors have swirled around possible suitors, from Samsung to Amazon, but HP has been mum on its plans for webOS. Is no news good news? Could this mean HP is looking to breathe new life into webOS?
Meanwhile, HP’s decision to hold onto PSG is one that was not wholly unsurprising — The VAR Guy noted in early October 2011 that none other than Michael Dell may have convinced HP to rethink its plans to sell PSG. And it simply didn’t make sense that HP, which is literally a household name in the PC space, would go selling off its bread and butter product line.
But while this could be viewed as great news for HP customers and partners, HP does have a lot of damage control to do with its partners. Apotheker left a lot of debris in his wake, and Whitman has a big cleanup job ahead of her. Keeping PSG is a step in the right direction. The larger task now is to make sure HP does right by its channel partners to regain their trust and once again move the company down the right path.