HP Milestones: A Look Back, As Tech Giant Splits In Two - InformationWeek

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11/5/2015
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HP Milestones: A Look Back, As Tech Giant Splits In Two

HP has officially split into two companies. The breakup marks perhaps the biggest milestone in the company's storied history. Here's a look back at the corporate hits and misses that brought the company to where it is today.
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(Image: Thinglass/iStockphoto)

(Image: Thinglass/iStockphoto)

Hewlett Packard Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are marking their first week as two separate companies after the Nov. 1 split, a year in the making, became effective on Sunday.

The divorce comes at a time when traditional tech giants such as HP, Dell, and others are facing new competition from companies that were born in the cloud, or mostly born in the cloud, including Google, Salesforce.com, and Amazon. While HP has finalized its split-into-two strategy, Dell is taking a different tack, acquiring EMC and betting that the supply-chain economies of scale will pay off significantly. Nobody knows for sure which bet will pay off, or even if either one will.

HP Inc. is the new PC and printer business led by Dion Weisler, president and CEO. HP Enterprise (HPE), headed by president and CEO Meg Whitman, is the $53 billion back-end infrastructure business, which includes the company's cloud efforts, security, big data, infrastructure, and workplace productivity.

[ See what's in store for another tech giant. Read SAP CEO Bill McDermott Talks Cloud, Being Cool. ]

"The winners in today's market will be those who apply the power of technology to fuel the power of ideas, and the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise is built to accelerate this journey for customers," said HPE CEO Meg Whitman in a prepared statement. "Hewlett Packard Enterprise has the vision, financial resources, and flexibility to help customers win while generating growth and long-term value for our shareholders."

Financial analyst firm Bernstein Research said in a report issued Tuesday that HPE is an on-premises vendor in an increasingly off-premises world. The analyst firm said that in spite of promises from management, it's unclear if HPE can deliver revenue growth going forward, particularly in the near term. That's because its largest business -- services -- is currently undergoing a restructuring to improve margins, and its second largest business – x86 servers – is in a market that is slowing down.

HPE has work ahead to build revenues, increase market share, and find new relevance in an era in which IT dollars are shifting to the cloud, especially since it has effectively unplugged its own public cloud efforts.

"The IT spending landscape is undergoing massive changes, chief among them is the migration from on-premises infrastructure to off-premises solutions," Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in one of the Bernstein reports today. "Increasingly, CIOs are telling us that their priority for workloads is SaaS, IaaS, then -- at last resort -- on premises. This transition is affecting all traditional IT vendors, whose growth rates have stagnated -- think IBM, EMC ex-VMware, NetApp, Cisco, Oracle ... and HPE. By contrast, SaaS and IaaS companies such as AWS, Google, CRM, and Workday are booming."

In the wake of HP's split into two companies this week -- perhaps the biggest milestone in the company's history -- we thought it was worth taking a look back at some other significant milestones for HP through the years.

Join us for this walk down memory lane, then tell us in the comments section below which HP corporate moves throughout the years you find most notable. And let us know how you expect the two companies to fare in the wake of the split.

Jessica Davis is a Senior Editor at InformationWeek. She covers enterprise IT leadership, careers, artificial intelligence, data and analytics, and enterprise software. She has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology. Follow her on twitter: ... View Full Bio

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