HP's U-turn

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Hardware

Hewlett-Packard on Monday separated its personal computer and printer group into stand-alone businesses, a move by new Chief Executive Mark Hurd to reverse one of Carly Fiorina's last acts as CEO.

The Palo Alto company named R. Todd Bradley, former chief executive of palmOne, to head the PC business. Bradley, 46, had spent one year as palmOne's chief executive and three years as its president, where he led a turnaround of the developer of the Treo handheld and other devices.
Vyomesh Joshi, 51, who was running the combined printer and PC business unit, will resume his former role as executive vice president of the imaging and printing business.

In January, a few weeks before she was ousted, then-CEO Carly Fiorina merged HP's personal computer and printer businesses into a single division. At the time, HP said the move would make the company more efficient, enable it to develop new products faster and let it bundle printers and PCs more easily.

HP's printing division is its most profitable business, but it has been under attack by rivals and has recently lost market share. The PC business, however, had been losing money for several quarters. But in the past few quarters it has turned around.

Lower costs cited

In a U-turn Monday, HP said that by operating the two businesses separately, it can lower costs.

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