The company will split into two. One would focus on B2B services, hardware and software; the other on the personal computer and printer unit. This latter unit of the business is seen to be weaker, as the consumer market for computer hardware has over the years gone to smartphones and tablets. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, citing unamed sources, current CEO Meg Whitman will become chairman for the personal computer and printer business, and CEO of the software and business hardware. Current board member Patricia Russo would become chairman of the second company. Whitman had fought the idea, saying that HP best served its customers through its wide range of products. Whitman, who became CEO of HP in 2011, brought the two branches of the company into a closer synthesis. However, Whitman’s time at the company has not been without difficulty, including the well-reported deal with Autonomy, which was begun by her forebear. Whitman opposed the deal on the grounds that Autonomy had misrepresented their financial reports prior to the deal – writing off $8.8bn (?5.5bn) of Autonomy’s value – and are still in legal proceedings with the precious executive team at the company. HP has been consistently downsizing over the year, recently laying off 34,000 workers, announcing a further layoff of 11,000 for this year and next.
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