IBM Chief Slams HP

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) chief Samuel J. Palmisano stepped into the debate around Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), sharply criticizing his rival for its expensive acquisition of 3PAR Inc. and giving a large severance package to former chief executive Mark Hurd.

In a wide-ranging interview Tuesday, the IBM CEO said he doesn’t worry about companies like HP that have slashed their investments in core technology. “HP used to be a very inventive company,” Mr. Palmisano said.

IBM would never have paid as heavily as HP did to acquire a company such as computer-storage provider 3PAR, he said. “[HP] had no choice,” said Mr. Palmisano. “Hurd cut out all the research and development.”

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