On 18 August the technology world was shocked to learn that HP was planning on shelving webOS and all related products and was planning on spinning off its PC business.
However, a statement released by HP today has revealed that it has decided to keep hold of the PC division of the company, but there has been no such luck for webOS, with that division set to be shut down with up to 500 job losses.
HP announced that it has completed its evaluation of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG) and has decided the unit will remain part of the company.
“HP objectively evaluated the strategic, financial and operational impact of spinning off PSG. It’s clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees,” said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. “HP is committed to PSG, and together we are stronger.”
Whitman (above), the former head of eBay, only took up the position of president and CEO following Léo Apotheker’s resignation. It seems as if Whitman’s appointment has ignited the turn around in relation to HP’s PC division, which, with 17.7 per cent of the global market, is the biggest in the world.
While the PSG division reported $40.7 billion in revenue for 2010, it is also the least profitable division within HP, which was no doubt the reason behind the initial exploration of selling it.
“As part of HP, PSG will continue to give customers and partners the advantages of product innovation and global scale across the industry’s broadest portfolio of PCs, workstations and more,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. “We intend to make the leading PC business in the world even better.”
Top level executives at the webOS division have been leaving, with one vice-president, Richard Kerris, resigning and joining Nokia a couple of days later to head up Global Developer Relations. A webOS employee told the Guardian: "There's a 95 per cent chance we all get laid off between now and November, and I for one am thinking it's for the best."
The future of HP is certainly still in the balance and it will take more than this decision for Whitman to remedy the mistakes of her predecessor, but from our point of view, it is certainly a step in the right direction.