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Hewlett-Packard reverses course, keeps PCs

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Hewlett-Packard announced Thursday that, contrary to a plan championed by its former chief executive, it will keep its PC business. HP currently has the largest PC business in the world.

The announcement, made in a press release, comes a little over a month after HP replaced former head Leo Apotheker with Meg Whitman, former chief executive at eBay.

“HP objectively evaluated the strategic, financial and operational impact of spinning off [Personal Systems Group.] It’s clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees,” Whitman said in a statement. “HP is committed to PSG, and together we are stronger.”

Shortly before Apotheker ended his 11-month tenure with the company, he made the dramatic statement in an earnings call that the company would consider spinning off or selling its PC business and close down its Palm/webOS hardware division. Those decisions, combined with HP’s acquisition of Autonomy seemed to setting the company up to switch from being hardware-focused to software-focused.

When Whitman took over the lead position at HP, she said that she would objectively reevaluate the decision to spin off the PSG, but also made it clear that her appointment did not indicate a “change in strategy.”

Hewlett-Packard is trading slightly up on the news in after-hours trading, rising .85 percent to $27.22 per share.

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