updated 09:30 am EDT, Wed March 21, 2012
HP's PSG and IPG groups unite
HP on Wednesday morning confirmed rumors that it was merging its PC and printer groups. The step would unite the Personal Systems Group with the Imaging and Printing Group to form a new Printing and Personal Systems Group. PSG's existing head, Todd Bradley, would take charge of the new division.
One cost of the move will be the departure of executive VP Vyomesh Joshi, who would be retiring as a result of the merged groups.
The step would be intended to "rationalize HP's go-to-market strategy" and related elements like the part supply chain. It also hoped for "innovation" by having the two groups influence the other, although it simultaneously admitted that there were "opportunities for cost savings" that might be the primary motivators.
Some marketing and sales efforts were also being streamlined, uniting corporate sales under an Enterprise Group and its cross-division marketing under its CMO Marty Homlish. Communications staff would go under CCO Henry Gomez, which when combined with the CMO responsibilities would create a "more powerful voice."
The steps, while characterized as a mix of reigniting innovation and efficiency, are likely reactions to HP's suffering in both categories. The printer group's profits were sliding towards the end of the year. HP's PCs have been rapidly shedding market share, both to more nimble computer builders like Apple and Lenovo but also to tablets like the iPad. HP is often considered the definition of race-to-the-bottom PC sales, where price trumps features, and may be more vulnerable than most to customers skipping its low-end notebooks and netbooks in favor of tablets.