HP's Board Ousted CEO, Whitman Named (Updated)

Original Post: The Wall Street Journal (via The Australian) reports that Hewlett-Packard's board of directors met last night (September 21, U.S. time) to discuss firing current CEO Leo Apotheker. Apotheker began his tenure only in November, 2010.

During Apotheker's short tenure, HP's stock price fell 45 percent. But since rumors of Apotheker's possible departure started swirling earlier this week, HP's stock has rebounded by 10%.

HP is clearly a company in turmoil. The Itanium Meltdown is one big reason, and so is HP's restructuring.

In my view it's perfectly rational for prospective HP customers to hold off purchases (or consider alternatives) while there's so much uncertainty about HP's ability and williness to invest in particular businesses — and even uncertainty about what businesses HP will pursue and not pursue. That's particularly true in a tough global economic environment. I think Apotheker had some good ideas that might have fixed HP 5 or 10 years ago. He is significantly overpaying to acquire the wrong software company (Autonomy), but HP's board had to sign off on that deal and shares the blame. His execution could have been much more graceful, especially with the PC and tablet businesses. (The "we're getting out, but we're not sure how, except we're sure the HP brand won't go with it" announcement for their PC business was bizarre and disturbing.) When Oracle singlehandedly mooted HP's Itanium server business, Apotheker should have struck a deal with IBM along the lines I outlined previously. And Apotheker hasn't addressed how HP will move to where the market will be in 5 or 10 years.

On the bright side, HP still has lots of pricey printer ink to sell.

UPDATE #1: HP's board may name ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman as the new CEO. Whitman joined HP's board after her losing California gubernatorial campaign in which she spent $140 million of her own money and still lost by over 11 percentage points. That's despite the fact her party won the majority of races in the same 2010 election.

UPDATE #2: New HP CEO Meg Whitman talks with reporters.

by Timothy Sipples September 22, 2011 in Current Affairs, People
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Comments

Woah that is just one not so good news for Mister Whitman.Well I think HP just did they own job to do everything for this case.

Posted by: HP Cartridge | Dec 9, 2011 12:17:31 PM

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