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New HP CEO Won't Rule Out Spin-Offs

New Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd said Wednesday his primary focus will be on execution and creating shareholder value, and he won't rule out spinning off parts of the company to achieve those ends.

In a Wednesday morning conference call with financial analysts, Hurd was asked if keeping HP's portfolio intact was a condition of becoming CEO. "I received no preconditions under the agreement that I accepted the job," he said. "I was not given any commentary that would stop me from doing anything that would be in the best interest of trying to improve and optimize the company."

Also on the call was HP Chairman Patricia Dunn, who added, "We were looking for a CEO whose strategy was to execute the businesses performance to their highest level. There were not litmus tests [concerning a no-divestiture strategy]."

Some analysts and shareholders previously have advocated spinning off HP's printing or PC businesses to raise shareholder value. Though Hurd didn't dismiss that possibility, he tempered his comments by saying, "That's not the first thing I'm going to work on."

Hurd, formerly president and CEO of NCR, said his top priority is to meet with HP employees, customers and partners to gain a better understanding of the company's business.

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