Hewlett-Packard’s decision to merge its PC and printing businesses into a single entity does not stand out as a terribly novel idea. The company was for this structure (under Carly Fiorina) before it was against it (under Mark Hurd). And Hurd had contemplated merging the units near the end of his tenure to chase the same proposed gains from unifying the supply chain, branding, and support that Meg Whitman now hopes to realize.
What must keep Whitman awake at night are the far more daring moves that HP will need to take to reawaken its business. Chris Whitmore, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, issued a research note this week that framed HP’s competitive position in the starkest of terms.