HP adds a touch of flair with purchase of VoodooPC

U.S. computer giant Hewlett-Packard is adding a touch of flair to its all-business reputation by buying Calgary-based VoodooPC, the company announced this evening. VoodooPC produces idiosyncratic, one-of-a-kind high-performance computers, mostly for gamers. Co-owner Ravi Sood said his company and HP had been in talks about the purchase for since January, 2005. "But things really took off after Mark Hurd came on board at HP," he said, referring to the March, 2005, appointment of Mr. Hurd as CEO at HP.

VoodooPC will become part of HP's Personal Systems Group. Mr. Sood said that HP intends to retain VoodooPC "as an elite brand," and that VoodooPC will become "the nucleus of HP's entire gaming business.Along with other changes at HP, the Personal Systems Group has undergone a major shakeup. "These guys," Mr Sood said, "are really, really sharp." He added that "HP is the largest provider of machines for on-line gaming, but most people don't know that, because these are primarily blade servers." The companies said they both hope the acquisition will expand the reach of the VoodooPC brand and promote HP as a maker of high-performance gaming equipment.

VoodooPC will remain in Calgary. When asked whether the company would be hiring and expanding, Mr. Sood said simply, "Oh, yeah." Mr. Sood's brother and co-owner Rahul will become chief technologist of the HP gaming unit and Ravi will become the unit's director of strategy. Both VoodooPC executives will report to the chief technology officer of HP's Personal Systems Group. "Customers should continue to expect the highest level of personalized configurations, service and quality, not least of which is having a direct conduit to HP's unparalleled innovation and international presence," he added.

As a result of the acquisition, VoodooPC said it would begin expanding its current work force to accommodate the impending growth this new unit will create. The acquisition is expected to close by November. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

News source: The Globe and Mail

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