Hewlett-Packard’s candid PC chief

Until recently, Hewlett-Packard was the world’s biggest PC manufacturer. Word that it was overtaken by Lenovo in the third quarter came as the U.S. firm is in the middle of overhauling its strategy. What does its future look like?

Todd Bradley, executive VP of HP’s US$65 billion printing and personal systems group, told CITE World that he’s got a lot of work to do convincing customers the company is still committed to the personal computer. But he has confidence, isn’t worried about Microsoft’s Surface tablet, touts HP’s Elite Pad for businesses and insists the PC isn’t dead.
(HP’s Elite Pad. which will be released January, 2013)

HP has been in somewhat of a state of upheaval since August, 2011 when CEO Leo Apotheker announced a US$10 billion deal for a British infrastructure software vendor and raise the possibility of spinning off the PC division. Stock markets trembled and Apotheker was soon replaced by HP board member and former eBay head Meg Whitman.

In the interview Bradley said Apotheker’s tenure “created an enormous amount of challenge with customers.”

Then, as world economic confidence hesitated, HP’s sales dropped off, prompting the company to create a plan to drop 27,000 staff by 2014.

HP doesn’t necessarily have control over its future. According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments dropped 8.3 per cent in the last quarter compared to the same period in 2011, although some buyers may have been waiting for the release of machines with Windows 8.

Lenovo shipped just over 13.7 million PCs (not including tablets) in that three-month period, slightly ahead of HP’s 13.5 million. Dell was third with 9.2 million, followed by Acer Group and Asus. All but Lenovo suffered declines compared to the same period in 2011.

 Does Bradley have the right stuff? Read the whole story here

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