Case | HBS Case Collection | October 1999 (Revised March 2000)

HP Consumer Products Business Organization: Distributing Printers via the Internet

by Rajiv Lal, Kirthi Kalyanam, Shelby Mc Intyre and Edie Prescott


In spring 1998, Pradeep Jotwani, vice president and general manager of the Consumer Products Business Organization of the Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), was contemplating the increasing success of e-commerce and its implications for his division. The consumer products group had started selling refurbished printers through an Internet outlet center in December 1997, but Jotwani was now considering a move to sell new printers directly to consumers via this new channel. If he were to make such a move, he wondered which products to sell online at what prices, and how to communicate this strategy to the channel partners without damaging the existing distribution structure.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Marketing Channels; Business Processes; Problems and Challenges; Partners and Partnerships; Sales; Business Strategy; Technology; Information Technology; Consumer Products Industry;


Lal, Rajiv, Kirthi Kalyanam, Shelby Mc Intyre, and Edie Prescott. "HP Consumer Products Business Organization: Distributing Printers via the Internet." Harvard Business School Case 500-021, October 1999. (Revised March 2000.)