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HP CEO Lores On As-A-Service 'Acceleration' And Combining Managed Print With Instant Ink

The ongoing emphasis on work-from-home is continuing to create new growth opportunities for HP and its channel partners, including a re-imagining of managed print services for home offices, CEO Enrique Lores said in an interview with CRN.

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You announced that you are terminating your shareholder rights plan early -- what is the significance of that?

It's a confirmation or what we said when we put it in place. We said it was a temporary action that we were taking because of the situation [with Xerox's] hostile takeover. We said it was a reaction to that takeover, and that this was not something we were planning to maintain in the long term. And we had a board meeting last week, and we evaluated the situation--and we decided that, given the new situation, we didn't need to have it. And we removed it. When we needed it, we put it in place. And now that we don't, we removed it.

Is it fair to take away from this that you are pretty confident Xerox will not revive its hostile takeover?

I would never say never, because things can change. But clearly, when the [Xerox] deal was put on the table, we said there were several things that were a big problem. One was the exchange rate between the value of the two companies. This has dramatically changed. When you look at our stock price, it is basically the same that it was in November, within that $16-$17 range. Xerox was $35, and now it's $15-$16 per share. So, the exchange rate has dramatically changed. Availability of credit to finance [an acquisition] like this has also changed dramatically. And third, and probably the more important--the proposal they were making was creating a company with higher leverage, between four and five times debt to EBITDA--which in a situation like this is incredibly risky. So, the same reasons we shared a few months ago that supported the fact that it didn't make sense, are even more relevant now. So, it's hard to predict what others will do--but clearly if it didn't make sense before, it makes even less sense now.

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