HP ponders u-turn on selling PC business

Plans by former HP CEO Leo Apotheker to sell off its PC business are being carefully re-examined by Meg Whitman, the company’s newly spring chief executive officer.

According to the Wall Street Journal, quoting sources close to the action, some senior executives at the company think that getting rid of its PC business would be a mistake.  The unit turns over $40.1 billion and, the report said, HP would also lose by disrupting its supply chain. The PC division does make a profit but only a small one.

But opinions still appear to be divided inside HP, with Whitman being the final arbiter of whether to spin or not to spin.  It will need to make a decision very soon however, because the uncertainty is causing large corporate buyers of HP kit to consider their other options.  Dell is one of their other options.

If Whitman does decide to cast its PC business into the wilderness, HP would still sell servers, much like IBM did when it disposed of its PC business to Lenovo.

Apotheker is widely seen as not having very much of a handle on the hardware side of HP’s business lines. HP also, of course, remains a giant in the printer business, a business that goes hand-in-hand with its sales of PCs.