HP Chairman: PC Spin-Off isn't a Foregone Conclusion

Paul Lilly

Hewlett Packard wants to rid itself of its pesky PC business so it can focus all of its efforts on webOS hardware printers, software, and cloud computing, but only if the price is right. Should HP instead decide to spin off its Personal Systems Group (PSG), company chairman Ray Lane says he'll lobby for the separate enterprise to retain the HP brand. It's even possible HP will ultimately decide to keep its PC business.

Mr. Lane told CRN in an interview that HP is the "largest, most profitable [PC] business in the world," and if it comes down to lobbying to keep the HP brand, he doesn't anticipate much resistance. "I don't have to lobby very hard, to call it the HP PC Business. Call it HP. It will be a sister company. Just like Agilent was a very close company with HP when we spun it out," Lane said.

The chairman was also quick to clarify that nothing is yet set in stone, and if it comes down to it, HP would be willing to retain its PC business.

"If we don't make that decision, it's because of two things: We can't offer a better proposition to customers and investors. If we can't, it stays inside HP," Lane said.

The chances of that happening are probably pretty slim after all of HP's posturing, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility. HP's PC business isn't losing money, it's just operating on razor thin profits, according to Mr. Lane.

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