Meg Whitman is the new CEO of HP. Leo Apotheker got to be CEO for less than a year and for most of that time Meg Whitman was on the board of directors. The board seemed to back Apotheker when he made decisions that roiled the web press. He killed almost everything HP got from the purchase of Palm, bought Autonomy, said the company is going to transition into "enterprise" software & services, and started discussions that HP was going to sell off their commodity computer business. The board didn't seem to object, at least not publicly. Apotheker was horrible at communicating with the shareholders but that pales in comparison to the rather large changes being made, it's forgivable.
But now they've fired Apotheker and put Whitman in his place. HP's not going to recover from Apotheker's decisions if Whitman is in charge.
I'm sorry HP shareholders, employees, and customers. You're in for a continued rough ride in the near future.
Why should anyone think that Whitman, who didn't have the best record at eBay (even though the major press seems to think otherwise), who failed at becoming the governor of California, and who was on the board of directors for most of the time Apotheker made such "bad" decisions, will do anything "better" than Apotheker?
HP used to be an engineer's company. Woz worked there and loved it. If Woz thought HP was an engineer's dream company, I bet it was. HP made THE BEST calculators, THE BEST test equipment, THE BEST mid range laser printers, THE BEST low end ink jet printers, and probably tons of other products that were THE BEST of their time. HP isn't an engineer's company any more. Meg Whitman isn't going to make it back into an engineer's company.
Today, what does HP build that's the best?
WebOS had a chance to be THE BEST, even though they stumbled out of the starting blocks and were late to the party. Out of all the things that have changed at HP under Apotheker, the loss of WebOS as even a reasonable contender against iOS and Android, is the worst.
HP's not THE BEST at anything any more. Rest in peace...
Hewlett-Packard, WebOS... RIP
23 September 2011