Meg Whitman: HP breakup will result in more innovation

Meg Whitman

Hewlett-Packard will move faster and become more agile after the company splits in two, CEO Meg Whitman claimed yesterday.

The woman tasked with overseeing the tech giant's turnaround used her keynote at HP Discover in Barcelona to reassure customers of HP's future direction, after a shaky fourth quarter in which revenues fell two per cent to $28.4 billion.

Whitman expects HP's split into Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc to take place in November 2015, after which the CEO claimed the two companies will become more innovative, exploring the possibilities of big data and 3D printing.

She said: "It's all about acceleration, [being] faster to innovate and respond, sharper focus, less drag, greater agility. All the qualities you appreciate in a partner as you move to the new style of IT.

"With these changes we will simply serve you better. We'll read the winds and change course much faster."

The split was announced in early October, and will see servers, storage, big data and HP's Helion cloud looked after by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, of which Whitman will be CEO, while she will be chairman of HP Inc, comprised of the firm's declining but still lucrative printing and PC businesses.

She pointed out she has taken HP from a $12bn debt position to a cash position of $5.9bn.

Referring to the fact the company's founders, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, built their first product in a garage, Whitman said: "After next year you can think of HP as a two-car garage. Behind each garage door we'll be creating, innovating, iterating and setting you up to excel in a dynamic, ever-changing world.

"The separation is the right next step in the great HP turnaround story."