Hewlett Packard plans to split into two companies on Monday, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. One company will be focused on enterprise computing and services, and the other will build and sell PCs and printers.
Current [company]HP[/company] CEO Meg Whitman will lead the enterprise-focused version of HP (it’s not clear who gets to keep the iconic name) and will be chairman of the PC/printer company, which will be led by Dion Weisler as CEO. Details are still fuzzy as to how this will all work, but WSJ reported that HP plans to announce the move on Monday.
HP is perhaps the seminal Silicon Valley company, with a rich history of computing breakthroughs and technology leadership since it was founded in 1939. But despite taking in $112 billion in revenue in 2013 (split almost evenly between the groups that will form the two separate companies) it has struggled over the last decade with the decline of the PC market, the rise of mobile computing, and the shift to enterprise cloud computing. A series of at-times comical leadership fiascos hasn’t helped.
Talk of spinning off the PC unit into a seperate entity are not new — in fact Leo Apotheker, who preceded Meg Whitman as HP’s CEO, considered that option during his year in the job. Whitman declined to pursue that course when she assumed the top job three years ago.
This report comes just weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that [company]EMC[/company] and HP mulled a “merger of equals” that would have made Whitman CEO of the combined companies and EMC CEO Joe Tucci would have been chairman. But talks ended earlier this year when the parties decided shareholders would not approve the deal, according to the story.
I’ll update this post as more information becomes available, and we’ll certainly cover any announcement HP might make on Monday.
Barb Darrow contributed to this report.
Note: This story was updated at 5:10 p.m. PST with detail on EMC and HP’s talks about a merger.