HP is ‘coming back strong’, says CEO Meg Whitman

At the HP Discover event in Barcelona, CEO Meg Whitman addressed the future for customers following HP's split into two businesses

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HP CEO Meg Whitman (pictured) has attempted to rally and restore confidence among customers following recent news of the company’s split into two firms.

Looking back on a tumultuous spell in charge at HP, Whitman told delegates at the HP Discover user conference in Barcelona the company was now more stable, with an enhanced products and services catalogue reflecting what it terms the “new style of IT”. 

Whitman said HP has gone through organisational changes, improved its cash position from net debt of $12bn in late 2011 to net cash of $5.9bn today, and was “turning up the volume” on research and development.

“In 2014, we began to see the dividends of this hard work pay off. HP has turned the corner and we are coming back, and we are coming back really strong,” she said.

Addressing the split, which will see the establishment of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (encompassing storage, servers, networking, converged systems, software and cloud) and HP Inc (covering personal systems and printing), Whitman said she was focused on delivering the business outcomes that customers want, not HP.

“We will enable customers to run their current IT organisation faster, better, smarter and cheaper, but are also committed to providing the right compute for the right workloads at the right economics,” she said.

“We expect the separation will happen at the end of our current fiscal year, around November 2015. We believe it positions us to better meet your changing needs. The separation is the right next step.”

Harking back to HP’s establishment in a one-car garage in Palo Alto more than 70 years ago, Whitman urged customers to think of the company as moving now into a two-car garage, which will share tools and resources.

“The next chapter is about acceleration. With these changes, we will serve you better. We will read the winds and change course faster,” she said.

Whitman, who took over in 2011, will remain on the shop floor in both garages, as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and chairman of the board at HP Inc. As many as 50,000 jobs will have been cut at the supplier by the end of 2015 as part of a broad restructuring that started in 2012. 

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