HP is one of the world's leading technology brands, the global #1 in printers, and joint leader in PCs with arch-rival Lenovo. Until recently it was also one of the leaders in IT services. However, the company behind the brand appeared to have lost its way in recent years as a result of management turmoil and unpredictable changes in the direction of the market. HP reinvented itself in 2002 in a merger with competitor Compaq. Although full integration of what were already two huge businesses seemed at first to have gone smoothly, the enlarged business remained over-dependent on its original printers business for profits. The board certainly thought so, forcing out high profile CEO Carly Fiorina in early 2005. New CEO Mark Hurd demonstrated a firm grasp on the business, knocking rival Dell off its perch as the global #1 in PCs in 2007, and closing the gap with IBM in IT services by buying consultancy EDS in 2008. Yet Hurd too was unceremoniously dismissed in 2010. So was his successor less than a year later, after announcing a proposal to withdraw from the PC market and then signing off on the catastrophic purchase of software developer Autonomy. A slightly different break-up plan was completed in 2015. PC and printer hardware now forms the core of a slimmed-down HP Inc. Services, servers and storage were spun off as separate company Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The computer hardware business remains tough, but HP appears to be holding its own. Overtaken by Lenovo in PCs in 2013, it has since regained lost ground, and the two companies are now neck-and-neck rivals for the top spot with around 23% share each. HP remains the undisputed leader in printers, not just personal printing but also other segments including 3D and industrial printing. It had over 40% of the global printers market in 2018; main rival Canon had around 21%. (Ironically, though, HP also sources the key components for its laser printers from its main rival Canon). Dion Weisler has been CEO since the demerger from what is now HPE, but will step down in Nov 2019. His successor is Enrique Lores. Revenues for ye Oct 2018 were $58.5bn, with net earnings of $5.3bn. Both were the best results since the demerger. "Personal systems" (ie PCs) generated almost $38bn, with notebooks alone contributing $22.5bn. Printers generated $21bn, of which $13.6bn came from ink and other supplies rather than hardware.
Capsule checked 26th April 2019
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Adbrands Daily Update 23rd Aug 2019: Dion Weisler will step down as CEO of HP in November for family health reasons, though he will remain with the company on an advisory basis until early 2020, when he plans to return to his native Australia. His successor is 30-year company veteran Enrique Lores, currently head of imaging, printing and solutions.
Adbrands Social Media 2nd Jul 2019: "Be You". These days you never know who might be watching you via your laptop webcam... so HP came up with a clever little add-on for its Spectre x360 device. There's a kill switch on the side so you can be sure you're not being observed while occupying yourself with all those intimate activities like, ahem, "eating cake" or putting "cheetos" up your nose. The ad from FF Creative (formerly Fred & Farid) has come up with a load of such visual euphemisms for other activities that would be considerably more embarrassing than making foam hair-spikes or shaving your armpits. Another execution makes fun of all the items - like sticking plasters or chewing gum - that people use to cover the camera lens. The only problem is remembering to flick the switch in the first place... Perhaps they could make another switch that reminds you to flick the switch.
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Dec 2018: A broad recovery in the global computer market underpinned strong results for HP in the year to Oct 2018. Revenues grew by 12% to $58.5bn, with double-digit improvement in both PCs and printers. The best metric of all came from commercial printers where sales jumped 23% year-on-year. Net income more than doubled to $5.3bn, helped by the tax rate changes.
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Aug 2018: HP's marketing chief Antonio Lucio is moving to Facebook to take over from CMO Gary Briggs, who will retire at the end of the year. Lucio is replaced as CMO of HP by Vikrant Batra, current head of marketing for the main printing & imaging division. HP's chief communications officer Karen Kahn is also being promoted to the senior management team.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Jul 2018: New research from both IDC and Gartner suggests that the global PC market enjoyed its strongest quarter for six years. According to IDC, total PC shipments rose 2.7% to almost 62.3m devices, the best growth since 1Q 2012. However the growth was largely confined to the five leading manufacturers, all of whom reported a positive lift at the expense of other suppliers, who suffered a combined 11% decline. HP retained its position at the top of the table, though Lenovo closed the gap slightly as a result of its newly minted joint venture with Fujitsu of Japan. Dell remains 3rd, while Apple showed the weakest year-on-year growth (of just 0.1%) in 4th place. Acer rounded out the top five, with Asus ranked 6th globally. The top six companies alone account for well over 80% of total volumes.
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