The majority of people might be aware by now that Hewlett-Packard is splitting in two, but not everyone might know about chief executive Meg Whitman’s feelings about HP. As she was nearing the moment of truth, she also feared going back to a tragic moment in her life that seemed to repeat itself, a moment that she lived in her early career and shaped the way she understood and treated business for the many years that followed.
It all started when Ms. Whitman held an exec position, in charge of the brand known as Keds, if you remember Stride Rite from years ago. Keds was prepared to transcend to the status of “high-tech” warehouse. But the ascension had its own issues and it was literally put to a stop for 9 consecutive months. Nobody could do anything about it, nobody could push it forward or make things like they were before. Keds was just stuck.
Now Whitman is worried that the same events might reoccur once again and that HP might run into a situation from where there is no turning back. Since both companies’ fates are quite similar, it is rather normal that she worry about matters such as these. After all, despite all its issues, HP still remains a strong company with a strong brand that has gained the favor of the people.
After approximately one year of talks, debates, plans and perhaps even sadness, HP will finally split into two pieces and its remains will never be as crystal clear as the values that the 75 year company displayed until now. HP basically started in a garage close to the University of Stanford. It has come a long way and seeing it end like this brings tears to people’s eyes, Whitman included, perhaps.
One of the companies will be HP Inc. that is going to be dealing with printers and computers. The other company is going to be Hewlett Packard Enterprise and its trades will involve networking, selling computer servers, data storage, software and many other computer services which breathe life into any company from our era.
The good news is that these companies are still looking good: with an annual revenue amounting up to around $50 billion for each one of them, HP Inc. and HPE are both predicted to find themselves among the 500 largest companies in America. While Meg Whitman’s feelings about HP are definitely sour, there is also a very good side that needs to be considered: this is not the end for HP.
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