CEO: HP To 'Double Down'

Hurd told several thousand IT executives last week at Gartner ITXpo in Orlando, Fla., that HP will not, as some continually predict, spin off its printer business, nor will it dump PCs in the face of Dell&s cheaper-computer onslaught.

“When I first came [to HP], I got a lot of questions about spinning off printers. We&re not working to get out of the printer business or spinning it off or divesting it. That&s point one,” Hurd said Tuesday in a keynote at the conference. “Point two, you&ll see us return to fundamentals. We&re getting our cost structure in line, simplifying the organization. We are leveraging our core. We have tremendous technology and core assets. We&re in the server business, we&re in the printer business, we&re in the management software business,” he said. “You&ll see us double down in those businesses. We&ll ship 50 million printers, 30 million PCs, a couple million industry-standard servers. That&s in one year.”

John Marks, CEO of JDM Infrastructure, an HP Gold partner in Rosemont, Ill., said Hurd needs to allow channel partners to get to know him and his channel strategy. “With all respect to [HP channel chief] John Thompson, who does a fine job communicating HP strategy at channel events, I put no credence in what HP is doing until I see Mark Hurd at a channel event telling partners the channel strategy moving forward,” Marks said.

“Doubling down” seems to be a favorite concept for Hurd. Earlier this year, he said the Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT giant would double down on its top partners that sell total HP solutions, giving them preference over solution providers who sell less HP product and services.

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Asked by Gartner analyst Carl Claunch if HP would pursue a product-agnostic services business or task its service personnel with selling HP wares, Hurd straddled the issue. “To a degree, we&ll be very focused on services. The strategic debate is how far up the stack we go,” he said. “We&re focused in services, IT outsourcing and partnering to bring the full solution.”