HP could make more of Compaq acquisition, CEO says

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HP could make more of Compaq acquisition, CEO says

Hewlett-Packard has still not done enough to take full advantage of its buyout of rival Compaq Computer, according to Carly Fiorina, HP's chairman and chief executive officer.

"We are not fully leveraging what we built," she said.

HP acquired Compaq in 2002 with the purpose of putting together a portfolio of technologies and products, spanning consumer and corporate applications, that would be different from that offered by other suppliers.

"Compaq, while it was a huge merger, was a tactic, not a strategy. The challenge now is to leverage what we have built," Fiorina said.

She did not specify in which areas HP's business needed improvement or where the company has fallen short of taking advantage of the merger.

Fiorina conceded that she made mistakes during her tenure as HP's top executive, but said she does not regret the decisions she made. In particular, Fiorina said she should have made certain "people decisions" sooner. She did not elaborate.

Fiorina's comments that the full potential of the Compaq acquisition have not been realised were most likely in reference to recent problems at HP's Enterprise Servers and Storage Group.

In August, Fiorina blamed the management of that group for a series of operational problems that had cost the company an estimated $400m (£222m) in revenue and $275m in operating profit during its fiscal third quarter.

While Fiorina did not offer names, she promised that management changes would be made immediately. The next day, HP released an e-mail from Fiorina that announced three of the company's top sales executives had been fired, including Peter Blackmore, the former executive vice-president of HP's Customer Solutions Group.

Sumner Lemon writes for IDG News Service


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