Arik Hesseldahl

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HP’s Todd Bradley Talks About PC Unit’s Future, and His Own (Video)

There are lots of competing theories about the ultimate fate of Hewlett-Packard’s $41 billion Personal Systems Group. Spinoff? Sale? Nothing at all? They’re all on the table.

The unit’s head and likely CEO in a spinoff scenario, Todd Bradley, took to Bloomberg TV’s airwaves yesterday for an extensive interview with hosts Emily Chang and Cory Johnson. The 13-minute segment is below.

Among the highlights: Johnson’s setup, wherein he quotes Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard as saying, “The only thing worse than a shitty business is a big shitty business,” and Bradley’s blunt refusal to answer when Chang asks if he endorsed the move to “explore strategic options” for the PC business.

Bradley also insists that the unit would sell at a higher valuation than 0.25 times sales, which would be about $10 billion. Most analysts say the unit would be valued at a fraction of the trailing year’s sales. The valuation argument may be moot now that Samsung, the most logical buyer, says it’s not interested, thus making a spinout more likely.

Later, Chang asks why HP isn’t giving the TouchPad and other webOS devices more of a chance in the marketplace. (Um, because sales were dismal?) She goes on to ask Bradley about his professional plans, about which there has been constant speculation since The Wall Street Journal reported in March that he had been recruited by Intel.

Bradley reiterates that he’s interested in running the independent PC company that might result from a spinout, and flatly denies that he’s looking for a new job somewhere else, then proceeds to paint a sunny picture about the PC unit’s prospects: “The PC market is only about 25 percent penetrated,” he says. He has a point, until you consider that many people might skip them altogether and move straight to tablets and smart phones.


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