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Sun 19 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Hurd moves to split HP printers and PCs

What Carly Fiorina joined together, Mark Hurd can take apart. Hurd, who replaced Fiorina as HP’s CEO earlier this year, has made his first big move by separating the company’s printer and PC businesses.

What Carly Fiorina joined together, Mark Hurd can take apart. Hurd, who replaced Fiorina as HP’s CEO earlier this year, has made his first big move by separating the company’s printer and PC businesses.

In January, HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) was merged with the Personal Systems Group (PSG), one of Fiorina’s last major moves before she was ousted the following month (see IT Weekly, 12-18 February 2005). That strategy seems to have been reversed, with Todd Bradley, formerly president and CEO of handset company PalmOne, being appointed to head up the PSG unit. Vyomesh (VJ) Joshi, who had been running the combined unit, has gone back to his former role as executive vice president of IPG.

“Todd Bradley is an outstanding executive with a long track record of growing businesses, executing against plans and exceeding targets,” Hurd said in a statement. “His experience driving growth and profitability in highly competitive hardware fields makes him well-suited for this position,” he also stated.

The move has renewed speculation that HP may be looking to spin off one of its business groups, something which analysts have repeatedly called for it to do. Bradley ran Palm’s hardware division during the period that the company was split into PalmOne to sell hardware and PalmSource to sell software.

For Joshi, who was widely tipped as a potential successor to Fiorina before Hurd was appointed, the move may be seen as a backward step.

“Under VJ’s leadership, the PC business has continued to grow and improve its profit margins and I’d like to congratulate him on those efforts,” Hurd said. “Now, by managing PSG and IPG as separate, highly focused organisations, we can further sharpen our competitiveness and improve our cost structures,” he added.

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