WSJ: HP to spin off PC, printer arms into new company

— 6:00 AM on October 6, 2014

Update 8:58 AM: It's official. HP has formally announced its plan to split into two companies.

Big changes may be brewing at HP. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is about to spin off its PC and printer business into a new firm. The move could be announced publicly as early as today.

Quoting a source acquainted with HP's plans, the Journal says the newly spun-off PC and printer company will be known as HP Inc, while what remains of the current HP will be renamed Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Current CEO Meg Whitman will serve as CEO of the enterprise firm and as chairman of HP Inc.

The Journal speculates that the split could lead to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise merging with data storage firm EMC. Reportedly, merger talks went on between HP and EMC for "much of the past year" but ended "recently." If negotiations resume after the spin-off, the marriage of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and EMC could produce a single business worth $130 billion, the Journal says.

Assuming the Journal's sources are correct, this won't be HP's first attempt to shed its PC business. The company announced a similar split-up in August 2011. Eventually, though, it was then-CEO Leo Apotheker who split. Whitman, his successor, called off the plan in October 2011.

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