HP splits into two independent companies

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday announced a corporate reorganisation that will split the company into two independent organisations.

HP is making the move to sharpen its strategic focus, improve its agility and increase responsiveness to partners and customers, said company chairman, president and CEO Lewis Platt.

The company's board of directors approved the move, one of the largest split-ups in corporate history, on Tuesday. Under the plan, HP stockholders will hold shares in each company.

The plan calls for the creation of two distinct companies -- one focused on the measurement business, the other on the computing and imaging businesses, Platt said.

The companies will be independently managed, each with its own board of directors and its own research-and-development organisation.

The new, as-yet unnamed, measurement company will comprise HP's test-and-measurement, components, chemical-analysis and medical businesses. Edward Barnholt, currently HP executive vice president and general manager of the Measurement Organization, has been named chief executive officer of the new measurement company.

HP may issue an initial public offering for the measurement company by the end of the year, company officials said.

Meanwhile, the new computing and imaging company will continue to operate as HP, retaining the HP name and including all of HP's enterprise computing systems, software and services, personal computer, and printing and imaging solutions businesses. A search is being conducted for a CEO for the new HP, reconstituted as a computing and imaging company.

Platt will act as HP chairman, president and CEO until the separation plan is completed.

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