ROUND ROCK, Texas (
CEO Michael Dell, an avid trash talker, lost no in time in slamming
, which was announced late Thursday. Dell's No. 1 rival will ditch its WebOS hardware and potentially spin-off its PC business, much to the apparent delight of the Dell chief.
"If HP spins off their PC business ... maybe they will call it Compaq?" crowed the Dell supremo, via
, referring to HP's tough $25 billion merger with PC maker Compaq. (Which, incidentally, was
by Michael Dell as "the dumbest deal of the decade.")
The slam follows
from Dell's own conference call Tuesday, when CEO Dell praised
Windows 8 platforms as the only ones able to stand up to Apple's, effectively dismissing RIM and HP's tablet efforts.
Dell CEO Michael Dell
Warming to his theme Thursday, the punchy Dell boss aimed another jab at his rival via Twitter. "HP ... They are calling it a separation, but it feels like a divorce," he wrote.
The sheer scale of HP's restructuring, which was announced with the company's
, obviously took investors by surprise. HP CEO Leo Apotheker, who was criticized earlier this year for
, is now wielding the ax, refocusing HP on high-margin areas such as enterprise software and services.
Highlighting this effort, HP also said it was buying U.K. software company
in a massive $11 billion deal.
The No. 1 PC maker, HP's current upheaval is clearly music to the ears of Dell, whose company holds the second-place slot in the computer market. With a major question mark now hanging over HP's PC business, investors should expect an increasingly aggressive stance from Dell as its attempts to claw share from its bigger competitor.
Like HP, Dell has also been wrestling with a tough demand environment. Earlier this week, Dell reported a second-quarter revenue miss and offered up weak outlook, noting weakness in consumer spending and the U.S. federal sector.
Michael Dell's belligerence has, on occasion, though, come back to haunt him. Dell fired a now-famous jab at Apple in the 1990s, when he said that the Mac-maker's problems then could be solved by closing the company and giving the money back to shareholders. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, however, had the last laugh in 2006 when Apple surpassed Dell's market cap.
So far, on Friday, Dell had reason to keep its high-horse perch. Shares of the company were up more than 5% at $14.45, while HP shares were falling more than 20% to $23.38.
HP declined to comment on this story.
--Written by James Rogers in New York.
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