Hurd rules out HP spins to focus on core things

HP boss Mark Hurd has firmly ruled out any spin-off plans for the company. Instead of dramatic strategy shifts the company just needs to focus on doing a better job with what it has, he said in an interview.

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By  Peter Branton Published  September 11, 2005

HP boss Mark Hurd has firmly ruled out any spin-off plans for the company. Instead of dramatic strategy shifts the company just needs to focus on doing a better job with what it has, he said in an interview. “We need to temper the idea that this company has to have some earth-shaking event every 15 minutes,” he said in an interview with Business Week. “We have to be focused on execution. We’re in some very good markets. Some are better than others, but we have to focus on the core things that we do well,” he claimed. Since Hurd took the post as CEO at HP in March, as replacement for the axed Carly Fiorina, he has faced constant speculation that he would look to spin off one or both of the company’s printer or PC businesses. However, he has consistently stated that he was under “no preconditions” when he took the job and will do what he sees as best for the company (see IT Weekly 9 – 15 April 2005). What he sees as best for HP now seems to be clear: “I’m not working on spinning out the PC business or spinning out the printer business,” he said. “It’s not happening. And you can quote me,” he added. While Hurd seems resistant to dramatic strategy moves, he has nonetheless made a number of structural changes to how the company is run. In July, he achieved a coup by appointing Randall Mott, formerly CIO at rival Dell, to the same position at HP. Mott is expected to introduce significant cost-savings and supply chain improvements for HP, as he did for Dell. HP’s IT function, which has seen little change since the merger with Compaq, has now been separated from the company’s Global Operations group. Analyst firm Gartner said the move will lead to cost cuts.

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