PALO ALTO -- Beleaguered Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) on Wednesday unveiled a slick, new entrance to its headquarters that HP CEO Meg Whitman hopes will serve as "a symbol of the rebirth'' of the tech giant.
But even as HP touted the promise of the future, recent problems returned to the news.
The unveiling of HP's two-story, 37,762 square foot executive briefing center and new entrance occurred just after The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources, reported that potential buyers have expressed interest in HP's Autonomy and EDS units.
HP acquired both companies, then wrote down billions of dollars in the values of each. U.S. and British regulators continue to investigate the Autonomy deal, in which HP has admitted paying more than $5 billion too much.
Following the Wall Street Journal report Wednesday, HP shares rose 4.4 percent to $17.27. Reuters later cited an unidentified source saying that HP has no intention of selling any of its major units.
Late last year, HP reported that it lost almost $7 billion in the fourth quarter and $12.7 billion for the fiscal year. Its quarterly sales of $30 billion were down 7 percent from the same period a year before and its $120 billion in fiscal-year sales were off by 5 percent.
Whitman, who took over as CEO in September 2011, did not take questions following her brief remarks.
Standing in the building's glass-enclosed, airy lobby that surrounds a 100- to 125-year-old California Heritage Oak tree, Whitman said HP's new executive briefing center "combines the new and the modern and the forward looking with an anchor to the past" that's "fitting with what we hope to accomplish at HP over the next few years."
Construction began in July 2011 and -- Whitman said to raucous laughter -- represented a "labor of love that went on through a number of years and through three CEOs."
Any concerns over HP's future gave way, temporarily, to guided tours of the building, which includes displays of HP products and a simulation of its high-tech networking and server capabilities.
The building is a symbol of pride for HP, Whitman said.
And for HP's employees, she said, walking into the new building makes them stand "a little taller."
Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.
Size: Two stories, 37,762 square feet.
Location: 3000 Hanover St., Palo Alto
Construction: Demolition and site clearing began July 5, 2011.
Purpose: Serves as HP's new entry, lobby, conference rooms and displays for HP products