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Hewlett-Packard to merge printing, PC divisions

Hewlett-Packard to merge printing, PC divisions

Hewlett-Packard Co. will combine its printer and PC divisions to save money, part of the technology company’s effort to turn around its business.

The move announced Wednesday comes at a time when sales of printers and ink, once HP’s lifeblood, are falling as people increasingly share documents and photos online. HP, the world’s No. 1 maker of personal computers, is also facing declining PC sales as people turn their attention to tablet computers and smartphones.

The combined unit will be led by Todd Bradley, the executive vice president of the PC group since 2005. Vyomesh Joshi, the head of the printing group, is retiring after 31 years with HP.

HP has said it needs to identify ways to save money to invest in growing businesses. The company said combining the units will increase productivity and efficiency, while streamlining customer support and the company’s supply chain.

Shaw Wu, senior technology analyst at Sterne Agee, believes there’s room to cut expenses, especially when it comes to administrative and marketing costs.

But he said that there’s a limit. Customers don’t necessarily want to buy computers and printers at the same time. People replace PCs much quicker than printers, which can last five years or longer.

HP didn’t say how much it will save or what effect the restructuring would have on jobs, but the move is likely to result in layoffs. In a 2009 shake-up of the printing, PC and other divisions, HP cut 4,400 jobs. The company had 349,600 workers as of October, the end of its most recent fiscal year.

HP said combining the two divisions will improve its branding, supply chain management and customer support. Branding has been a challenge for Hewlett-Packard, a massive and storied technology company with a role in everything from computers to consulting.

Read More/Source: Yahoo

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