I would have to agree that the bar for Whitman was setup more like a limbo bar, than a hurdle. The fact they are paying her $1 with hefty bonus potential seems like a publicity stunt and a lower bar means Whitman will still get paid nicely.
HP needs to focus on their business and continuing in the field that made them a leader, computers. If they focus on their current business and stop trying to become the next Apple they should remain successful and profitable.
I'm completely astonished with your analysis. Its just about right first meeting discussions of whitman probably. They should drop some in the hardware and make remaining cheaper and better looking and performance. And in the software, yes they should acquire but only small and promising acqusitions.
@Madpeanut, Did you read my mind? Were you a fly on the wall in HP's boardroom or are you a secret dissenter on HP's board of directors? Whoever you are, HP should be listening to you. I wanted to dissent but how could I when I was busy nodding in agreement?
In case you didn't know, and to drive home your point, HP announced today it had closed the Autonomy acquisition. And you know what? The division will be managed as a stand alone business, meaning no integration with all of the other software businesses HP has purchased! HP's shareholders need to wake up and demand some strategic direction for the company. I can't wait for CEO Whitman to announce one that finally gets the company on a growth path.
Why low bar it? Becasue just as the last CEO the board is out of touch with technology and more importantly what the business is actually supposed to do. HP started as a hardware company, Compaq too was a hardware company. They took the best of both and merged them but over the years like most of the PC industry they have become stagnant and haven't keep up with the times. Look at HP over the last several years. They've purchased software, lots and lots of software. Yet they have not cultivated any of it, tied their software portfoloio together, they're all still very seperate, disorganized and all over the place (i.e. Opsware, WebOS, even some others but none cheap). I think this was communicated by Apotheker with spinning down WebOS, looking at pawning the desktop segment and then looking to focus more on services.
Regardless of Whitman with a board so out of touch with technology how will they find an adequate replacemen that is passionate about tech? If I were in their shoes, first, with a board election in march and the poor perforamnce so far of HP, multiple CEO's etc, what is there to lose by taking a risk on an unknown in this role (versus more of the same a la Whitman, she doesn't strike me as someone in tune with technology) and second, get the company back at its roots and find out where their future is with the software they have before they make yet more attempts at acquisitions (take care of what you have before buying more junk you're going to toss).
HP still have not addressed the big items from my perspective.
Server Hardware - How is HP going to compete with Dell who is giving them a run for their money? In my role and in talks with others in similiar roles in the industry people are leaving HP for Dell for cost reasons, we got a Dell server for $3k less than an equal class HP server, our HP reps couldn't match the cost. It makes no sense why HP is so much more expensive, they dont make their own ram, or disks, or processors, or HBA's etc, so..."what do you actually make??" especially for $3k more?
Desktop Hardware - Their desktop models are not sexy, they are plan and ugly and unimaginitive. How will this attract the consumer who is in love with Apple who has, sleek, sexy devices? Compare with Dell, well, Dell is cheaper here too.
Tablets - spending so much focus matched with a half hearted attempt, WebOS was going to fail, I wish HP would have given me BILLIONS instead!! The right path is that of Nokia in many ways (including fostering a Droid marketplace too) is to build hardware agnostic of the OS, not providing an OS no one wants or needs instead focusing on the Apple alternative and making some really awesome devices. The WebOS hardware as well as HP Slate 500 was not sexy, when the bar is iPad you need to pony up to compete, which they haven't. In this space you have some interesting challengers now, Samsung, Asus, not to mention Apple and anyone else (i.e. Amazon) droid gets on board.
I could go on and on with items but...that's Whitman's new job to fix they aren't paying me to help them out lol.
Right now, HP is in trouble in a serious way its like the position I view Microsoft in but at least Microsoft has some areas that can carry them for a lot longer while they try to dig out of their hole (on the consumer side) but meanwhile and for the foreseeable future they can rely on the backend (i.e. Windows Server and those tools and apps). Windows 8 is looking mighty fine...but its a year late when it will release so Microsoft needs the likes of HP and Samsung and others to counter Apple but then end up fighting for the pie left for Droid which is the new age Linux.
At the end of the day, Whitman is just a replacement and will by recycled next year for another "tried and true" CEO regardless of whether or not the baord is also recycled for a new one.
Simply moving HP's stock price back to where it was one year ago does not represent a challenge -- especially as Whitman was a member of the board that slept while Apotheker bumbled about.
@Bolaji, I agree with your observation. But why did HP place such a small challenge infront of Whitman ? Is it because board is pessimistic about future ? Or is it wants to play safe by choosing a small deadlines so that the investors confidence is not shattered ?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.