Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to split into two companies, separating its personal-computer and printer businesses from its corporate hardware and services operations, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing sources.
Under the plan, which is expected to be announced as early as Monday, H-P will undertake the breakup through a tax-free distribution of shares to the company’s stockholders next year, one of the sources said.
The move comes amid a wave of breakups and spinoffs at technology companies and in the wider corporate world, the newspaper said, adding that many shareholders support and even press for such moves as they enable companies to gain sharper focus and perform better.
Current chief executive Meg Whitman will be chairman of the PC and printer business and CEO of the separate, so-called enterprise company, WSJ said. Current lead independent director Patricia Russo will be chairman of the enterprise company, while Dion Weisler, an executive in the PC and printer operation, will be CEO of that business.
In fiscal 2013, the PC and printer unit reported US$55.9 billion in revenue, down 7.1 percent from the previous year amid fierce competition.
Last year, H-P was surpassed by China’s Lenovo Group as the top PC maker by shipments, the report said, citing data from industry research firm IDC.
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