HP's PC Unit Review To Be Done In 8 To 12 Weeks

23 Aug, 2011

Hewlett-Packard Co will complete a strategic review of its personal computers unit in the next 8 to 12 weeks, the company's PC chief, Todd Bradley, said on Monday.

Bradley, the former Palm CEO who has led HP's PC division for the past six years, also plans to stay with the company.

The world's largest technology company by revenue shocked investors last week with a series of announcements, including that it might spin off the PC business and would kill its new tablet as part of a major revamping away from the consumer market.


Some of the alternatives HP is exploring for its PC unit include hiving off the business into a separate company through a spin-off or sale. HP had said any move could take 12 to 18 months.

"Work will get completed probably over the next 8-12 weeks and we will sit down with the board and take them through the results," Bradley told CNBC.

He added that looking at options for HP's PC business was a "very, very valid exercise" for the board and company to do.


HP also launched on Monday a new desktop PC aimed at corporate and public sector customers.

The California company has been struggling in the PC market -- a low-margin but high revenue business -- as niftier gadgets such as Apple Inc's iPad have lured consumers away.

HP's WebOS-based TouchPad was killed after sales failed to take off. The company is now exploring options for its WebOS software, which it acquired through the acquisition of Palm.


Bradley, who described WebOS as a "strategically important asset," said the company has received interest from "a number of large parties" interested in licensing the software since the announcement.

The executive, the internal front-runner for the HP CEO job before it went to Leo Apotheker last year, also knocked down widespread speculation in Silicon Valley he was looking to leave HP.

"There are plenty of ridiculous rumours on the Internettoday, all unfounded," he said, adding he plans to work through the PC unit review process.


"At the time of whatever action is determined with the PC business, then if it's a spin-out it will be my intent to lead that," he said. "If it stays within HP, I plan to continue to run it."

HP shares, which fell 20 percent on Friday, closed up 3.6 percent at $24.45 on the New York Stock Exchange in a market that was broadly up.

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Andre Grenon)