The New New HP in 2004 (B): Winning in the Core Businesses

By Robert Burgelman, Philip Meza
2004 | Case No. SM125B
Prior to its merger with Compaq, HP depended upon profits from its wildly successful imaging and printing business to support the company’s far less successful computer businesses. Two years after the merger, HP still relied on its printing business (albeit less heavily) for most of the company’s profits. Fiorina said that HP was a “systems business,” not just an imaging and printing company, and she thought the merger helped HP become more competitive in the elements of that system, including the PC, enterprise computing and services businesses. In mid 2004, the challenges facing each of HP’s core businesses warranted the serious attention of top management; in particular the issue of balancing HP’s horizontal (cross-business) and vertical (multi-business) strategic considerations would have to rank high on the agenda.
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