Sat, Dec 23, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Hewlett-Packard confirms CEO Hurd's visit to meet firm's Taiwanese suppliers

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hewlett-Packard's (HP) chief executive Mark Hurd visited Taiwan earlier this month to meet with some of the company's local suppliers, a source at the US-based electronics firm said yesterday.

"He mainly paid visits to local contract manufacturers to forge stronger business relationships with local partners," the source from the local HP office said on condition of anonymity.

Hurd met with top executives from Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the nation's top electronics components and parts maker, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world's largest motherboard manufacturer, and Inventec Corp (英業達集團), the world's largest server supplier, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday.

HP has been sourcing IT components and products from these suppliers, as well as other major players such as Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), Compal Electronics Co (仁寶) and High Tech Computer Corp (宏達電子).

The source said that Hurd preferred to maintain a low-profile visit -- his first to Taiwan since taking over as CEO in April last year -- in contrast to the much-publicized visit of his predecessor, Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina came to Taipei for the second time in October 2004, making a splash with her meetings with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and local suppliers, delivering a keynote speech at a forum, as well as attending press conferences. She was reportedly even asked to be a messenger for cross-straits issues in the US.

HP is expected to remain the largest foreign procurer of Tai-wanese IT products this year, followed by Dell Inc and Sony Corp.

Its total procurement from Taiwanese firms is expected to reach US$20 billion this year, up 17.6 percent from last year, according to the statistics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Total procurement by foreign firms this year is forecast to amount to US$73.3 billion, up 10.9 percent from last year, with computers, IC and flat panels as the three largest items, the data showed.

The total amount is expected to rise more than 10 percent next year, the ministry said.

HP overtook Dell in the third quarter to become the world's largest PC maker, fueled by strong momentum from markets outside the US, such as Europe.

It forecast last Tuesday that revenues would top US$100 billion for the first time in fiscal 2008, with growth driven by its computer hardware and printing businesses, as well as cost-cutting efforts. HP reported revenue of US$91.7 billion for fiscal 2006.

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