Livermore: HP to stay the course

Livermore: HP to stay the course

A top Hewlett-Packard Co. official has put to rest speculation, which came with Mark Hurd's appointment as CEO last spring, that the company might spin off divisions or fundamentally shift its technology direction.

Ann Livermore, vice president of HP's technology solutions group, told attendees at the company's inaugural technology forum that HP didn't have any surprises in store for its users.

"There isn't going to be a big announcement. You're not going to see a fundamental shift in HP's strategy," she said in speech to the approximately 4,000 people in attendance.

Livermore made the remarks in advance of Hurd, who was due to appear at the technology forum tomorrow. He was also scheduled to speak at the Gartner Symposium and IT Expo, which is also in Orlando.

Specifically, Livermore quashed any speculation that HP might spin off parts of its company, especially those parts gained in its 2002 acquisition of the former Compaq Computer Corp. "Our approach is going to remain consistent," she said.

Instead, Livermore said HP will continue to make targeted acquisitions, as well as its own research and development investments, aimed at continuing development of its adaptive enterprise strategy. This is an IT architectural strategy intended to improve the ability of users to control, manage and align their businesses.

Hurd replaced Carly Fiorina, the former HP CEO whose tenure included the Compaq acquisition as well as a shift to Itanium-based high-end systems and away from its PA-RISC and other legacy technologies.

The last thing Arnold Mirow, an IT coordinator at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, wants from HP today is more dramatic change. "We had enough radical change with Carly," said Mirow, who added that Livermore's message of consistency makes users more comfortable.

Another HP user, Mike Trimbach, an OpenVMS manager at Computer Sciences, said the general message from the conference was encouraging for the future of OpenVMS, the system he manages and on which he has spent a major part of his career. HP has ported this operating system to Itanium.

At a technology session on OpenVMS, Trimbach said he learned from HP that the company has gotten some new customers on this operating system, which traces its roots to the 1970s. That "has been encouraging," he said.

The HP Technology Forum was moved from New Orleans to Orlando after Hurricane Katrina struck.

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