It's official: HP will break itself in two

CEO Meg Whitman will head Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, while PC and printer business head Dion Weisler will run HP Inc.

Hewlett-Packard has confirmed reports that it plans to break itself into two companies.

One of the companies, comprising HP's enterprise hardware, software and services businesses, will be known as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, the company announced Monday. The other, made up of its PC and printing businesses, will be called simply HP Inc., and will keep the HP logo.

Both of the new companies will be publically traded, and HP shareholders will be given shares in both firms. HP expects to complete the break-up by the end of its 2015 fiscal year, which ends on Oct. 31 next year.

President and CEO Meg Whitman, who's been fighting to get HP back on track after years of missteps under previous management, will retain those roles at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Dion Weisler, who heads HP's Printing and Personal Systems business, will be president and CEO of HP Inc., HP said

In a statement, Whitman painted the move as positive for the company, even though she originally vowed to keep HP whole.

"The decision to separate into two market-leading companies underscores our commitment to the turnaround plan," she said.

"It will provide each new company with the independence, focus, financial resources, and flexibility they need to adapt quickly to market and customer dynamics, while generating long-term value for shareholders," Whitman said.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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