HP is quickly hurtling toward the day it cleaves itself into public two $US55 billion, Fortune 50 companies.
That officially happens on November 1, when the new HP Enterprise, led by Meg Whitman, will ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
But internally, the day of the split will be August 1, says Dion Weisler, who will become CEO of the other company, which is simply called HP Inc. and will consist of today’s PC and printer business. Weisler is currently running that business as executive vice president.
“On the first of August, we’ll turn the light siwtch up, and 270,000 employees will be mapped to one company or the other,” he explained to the audience at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference taking place this week in Aspen.
HP is doing this so that it gets one quarter of data under its belt for each of the seperate companies before the new stock is issued.
Weisler described the process of seperating as “not for the faint of heart.” It involves splitting or disolving 750 legal entities, working through a “complicated tax structure you wouldn’t believe and an IT structure hung together over 75 years.”
He vaguely described one example of that structure. HP Enterprise, he pointed out, has a huge outsourcing contract for the US Navy, so the sales operation organisation needs to support the Navy’s data centres, its PCs, networks, security and other operations.
“Meanwhile I have to ship one thing every second, whether a PC or printer. So we have a sales organisation that has to deal with all of that, and we’ve made compromises along the way,” he says.
“Imagine whitesheeting your company from the ground up and putting Humpty Dumpty together again in a new way that really serves the customers in which its targeting,” he says.
And for the employees of HP, it all happens in just over two weeks.