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New HP CEO Won't Rule Out Spin-Offs

Some analysts and shareholders have advocated spinning off HP's printing or PC businesses to raise shareholder value. While CEO Mark Hurd didn't dismiss that possibility, he made it clear it's

"I don't know any other way to do it other than to get under every piece of the business," he said. "I'll focus on better understanding each and every one of the operating models and meeting every person that I can possibly meet that can give me insight and knowledge. While the companies [NCR and HP] have similarities, it would be wrong for me to take the formula that I used at NCR, apply it to HP and imagine that it would work perfectly."

Hurd wasn't asked specific channel-related questions during the 20-minute conference call, but he noted that channels and distribution are of vital concern for Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP in competing against IBM and Dell. "You have to make sure you are fully deployed from a channel and distribution perspective to capture market-share profitability in each of those marketplaces, service them and get the margin for that," he said.

Solution providers said Hurd would be wise to review the promises HP executives made to partners at the recent Americas partner conference in Las Vegas and to stick by those principles.

"He needs to look at those messages from Mike Larson [senior vice president and general manager, HP Personal Systems Group, Americas] and V.J. [Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, HP Imaging & Personal Systems Group] and fully endorse them," said Don McDowell, executive vice president of marketing and partner solutions at Logicalis, a Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based solution provider. "Everyone made commitments to the channel not less than six weeks ago."

Among the promises at the partner conference were less channel conflict, tighter rules of engagement and more business going through the channel instead of direct sales.

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