Whitman may have lots of pressure from the board to bring in sales and/or to cut costs. Well, innovation needs time so she has to cut costs first. HP should maintain one of their core in software sevices.
IBM made a break from the PC world a number of years ago, and are better off for it, just look at their stock. They went back to what they have always done; mainframes, software, services, research.
This disappointed me greatly as I really liked their Thinkpad series, probably the best built laptop series ever. On the other hand, Lenovo is doing great. Which may say something about the American business traditions. It was a win win situation. What I learned recently is that IBM is in the top 10 silicon forges in the world, which gives them a great advantage in any products or research they do.
The companies that play in the bleeding edge will always be a triumph/tragedy situation. That type of product is as much about fashion and fad as it is about technology. Life in the fast lane is a situation best handled by start-ups, they have more to gain and less to loose. Large companies like HP should stick to the bread and butter, they move too slow to follow that kind of action. It may appear that Apple was the innovator of their new products, more likely it was a start-up that sold their tech. to Apple.
Other test equipment companies like Tektronix and Fluke are doing well, they advance their product lines as technology allows. Anyone can buy a gadget from an online store that will do just about anything, but, it will do in in a very limited environment and will not be stable over the long run. This is where the traditional equipment providers shine, some of them know it, others like HP did not.
One undeniable fact is that the regular/traditional global company is in jeopardy from "disruptive technologies" and processes. My feeling is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for many enterprises to make the transition to the new, more flexible structure that can keep them at the top of the food chain. Apple somehow managed to make that leap but the downward spiral we've seen or are seeing in so many other enterprises from Motorola to Nokia, HP, Nortel, etc., makes it clear the landscape will be different years from now.
HP has been loosing market share at a steady rate, and it is just because of the focus on the bottom line. They are no longer the quality leader they once were and getting rid of so many employees is not going to help it get back. HP is in a death spiral, and doesn't know how to get out.
How could anybody argue against that position? Of course, it's possible to say hindsight is always perfect but when companies focus more on "maximizing shareholder value" that's where they end up: in a ditch. The job cuts HP has announced would improve margins on a temporary basis but for the longer-term you need sales growth that far outpaces cost. That requires products that sell, have high barriers to entry and are not commodity PCs and printers.
When HP dumped their Test Equipment division and sold it to Agilent, it would be, in my opinion, a matter of time before they ended up on the ropes.
By the way Agilent is doing great.
HP was a test equipment manufacturer, that was their bread an butter, but they had to go chase all those loose dollars on the other side of the fence. Chasing after the same dollars all the high risk players were.
HP had a name in test equipment that compared to none worldwide. Everybody wanted HP equipment, They had their market carved in stone, all they had to do was to keep doing it.
Motorola has made the same mistake. Motorola made parts, second to none. There were test pilots that would not fly in the plane unless there were bat-wings on the parts. But about the same time HP went chasing after the leprechauns money, so did Motorola.
By the way OnSemi is doing just great on Motorola's legacy.
Real companies have real products. Real economies have real exports. We cannot keep selling each other bits across a wire and that is because we are real people, not virtual. We need real things to live a real life.
There is a lesson here, I think it is called the Prodigal Son, except in this case, HP has no home to go back to.
In Wall Street's drive toward profits, publicly held companies are no longer beholden to their management or employees. Shareholders are the No. 1 constiuent of the corproation. Some companies are able to balance a humane corporate culture with profitability, but most come down tot he point that HP is at: fire people or lose your market cap. This is one fo the reasons I think Facebook is going to go through a real culture shock--if it hasn't already--when it figures out it is no longer in control of its own destiny.
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.