HP creates IT services unit, names 19-year exec as head

Hewlett-Packard Co. is creating an IT services unit from within as the company continues to seek ways to increase revenues.

In an announcement yesterday, the computer hardware company said it is creating a sixth internal business unit that will expand its IT services business.

Ann Livermore, a 19-year HP veteran, was named president of the new division and will report directly to company President, Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina.

Livermore, formerly the president of the company's business customer organization, will now oversee HP's consulting, outsourcing, support and other services.

Since becoming HP's CEO and president in July 1999, Fiorina has been trying to accelerate the company's transition from a pure-play hardware vendor to a more broad-based vendor of Internet hardware, software and services.

Under Fiorina, HP entered talks last September with New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers to buy the global management and IT consulting practice for up to US$18 billion in cash and stock. The two sides couldn't reach an agreement, and the deal was halted in the fall.

"We've been investing aggressively in our services business for the last 18 months," Fiorina said in a statement. "It's now time we intensify our focus on this growing business to help our customers realize the full potential of their business and technology investments."

Livermore was previously responsible for worldwide sales, marketing and delivery of HP products and services .

She joined the company in 1982, holding a variety of management positions in marketing, sales and research and development.

Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, Livermore holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from Stanford University.

Succeeding Livermore as president of HP's business customer organization is Harry McKinney, a former vice president and general manager in the company's PC business.

HP Services is now the company's sixth business unit. Two units, for businesses and for consumers, focus on marketing, selling and packaging HP products, while three other units, for computing systems, imaging and printing systems, and embedded and personal systems, are responsible for inventing, creating and manufacturing products.

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