Keystone Seminar Students Visit HP

In a recent Keystone Seminar class, Webster undergraduates investigated the largest corporate separation ever undertaken, the self-imposed breakup of Hewlett-Packard.

The heads of HP's legal team in Geneva: Chris Ives, Miral Hamani and Sylvie Regrobellet received Webster students at its HQ in Geneva to explain the challenges and lessons of such a big and complicated separation — the biggest ever in corporate history creating two Fortune 50 companies, each worth $57 billion in revenue.

The split into two entities — HP Enterprise with storage, servers, cloud and services and HP Inc. with PCs and printers- the two entities were born went live on November 1st 2015 when they went live on the NY stock exchange.

Webster students learned:

  • HP comprises 786 legal entities which had to be reallocated
  • A separation management office existed both for the proposed HP Enterprise and HP Inc. companies.
  • 41,000 employees left the company during the fiscal year as part of buyouts or other attrition.
  • HP needs to come up with three years of financials accounts for what will be the new corporate units. intertwined.
  • The legal department needed to close negotiations on any outstanding corporate violations of the law with the US Department of Justice prior to the split.

The keystone seminar is a final course taken before graduation, with an experiential component outside the classroom and enables students to apply skills learned to real world scenarios. Webster students posed tough questions to the legal team during the HP visit. Caroline Hunt-Matthes who teaches the seminar explained, "Exposing students to challenges like the HP split and their "can do" problem solving and innovation skills is what we strive to share with students in the keystone seminar in the Global Citizenship Program."