I cannot address all of the changes but I can outline what happened with HP.
Once Bill and Dave passed, the road at HP became a bit bumpy. Personal computers and printing paid the bills but the vertical integration that previously supported the business so well in the past, became a large part of operation overhead. Building PC’s and putting ink and toner in cartridges didn’t need all those different divisions that had accumulated in the process of building a test and measurement empire.
Enter a new CEO, fresh blood to straighten things out. That CEO was one Carley Fiorina of AT&T and Lucent fame. She had a nack for being in right place at the right time and knew how manipulate stock values with the best of them. She identified the cash cow that was PC’s and went all out on that theme. She had the bean counters sell everything that wasn’t nailed down, and some that was, to generate the cash to buy Compaq, who’s assets included Digital Equment Corp, with the thought being that they’d own the market in PC’s and Unix workstations forever.
That went over like the proverbial turd in the punch bowl. She didn’t understand the market, the Unix business was already dead, just no ne wanted to admit it. In the insuing blood bath of red ink, HP laid off over 30,000 workers, a first in their corporate history.
My timing on things here on is probably wrong but I’m working from memory and cannot find any quick source to verify, I welcome corrections to the time-line if it matters to anyone.
The HP board finally got over their infighting long enough to fire her in 2005, after many money losing years. Mark Hurd was promoted from within HP to put thinks back on track. It was now even more evident that most of HP’s revenue came from printing. It was decided that the test and instrument devisions, along with the support verticals, were not big money makers, compared to ink and toner, so it was decided they would be spun off as separate entities. Since the imaging market was by far the lions share of the revenue, it was decided that that that group would keep the Hewlett-Packard name and since Bill and Dave were gone, it would shortened to just “HP”.
Mark Hurd returned HP to profitability but was ousted from the board due to personal conduct issues, I forget the sordid details but it was ugly.
The T&M group started out as Agilent. As time progressed, the vertical businesses that appeared to make money on their own where spun off, giving us Avago for the optical semiconductors along with a few other bits and pieces, and renaming the test equipment group Keysight. I do believe the Avago product line (and manufacturing for those lines) has been sold again, I’m unsure where that currently stands although I know my company still sources optical fiber and transceivers that were once known as HP products.
Overall, Hewlett-Packard is good lesson in how industry titans crash and burn when there is no succession plan and too many family members of the founders sit on the board of directors with those members not possessing the businesses accumem of their predecessors.