NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hewlett-Packard's (HPE) future growth plan will include M&A, CEO Meg Whitman said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Wednesday morning. In the past, Hewlett-Packard has bought computer data storage product maker 3PAR, computing hardware maker SGI and networking vendor Aruba.
"Those are exactly the kinds of acquisitions that we would make going forward," Whitman said. The common characteristic between those companies is that they're "complimentary technology that leverages our distribution system."
The company will be "very disciplined" about M&A, she noted. In the last five years, Hewlett-Packard has shown that it takes "a return on investment approach" to M&A. "And we're going to do that, but M&A will be part of our future."
At the same time that the company is considering expanding, it's also slimming down as a result of two spin mergers.
This past May, the company agreed to spin-off and merge its enterprise services business with Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC). Then in September, Hewlett Packard said it would spin off its software operations to merge them with Micro Focus International.
The main reason for the separations is "focus," Whitman said. The future belongs to companies that are "nimble and agile and can jump on new trends faster."
"Our view was, it was very hard to be as nimble and as fast as we need to be running such an enormous company with such complications around the number of different business units," Whitman explained.
Shares of Hewlett-Packard were higher in mid-morning trading on Wednesday, the day after it reported mixed results for the 2016 fourth quarter.