Dear new HP CEO: Bring the TouchPad line back

Summary:Wall Street and the mobile world are expecting HP to toss the CEO that cancelled the TouchPad product line and introduce a new boss. Here's what the new boss should do immediately.

Update: I have been bombarded by readers asking to make this request into a petition to present to HP, so a poll has been added after the letter. Please indicate your desire to have HP revive either the TouchPad line or all webOS products. I have been promised that HP executives will see this petition.

Dear Meg Whitman,

I cover mobile technology and rarely reach out directly to companies that produce the things I cover. I am making an exception this once due to the unusual circumstances surrounding your hiring. Before you pick out decorations for your new office, prior to firing executives you feel lack direction, even before you give the mandatory all-hands statement about how happy you are to be leading HP, do one thing. Publicly reverse the decision to kill off the TouchPad line and intention to find something to do with webOS.

Don't misunderstand me, the original TouchPad was not perfect by any means, but it is the one single tablet that made a dent in a previously untouchable tablet market. The bizarre fire sale helped speed that up, but from my point of view it is the only tablet produced to date with the potential of long-term success. It is unlike anything else that has come to market, it is powered by a very good OS in webOS, and the development team is as good as any in the business.

The decision to cancel the TouchPad line will go down in history as one of the most ridiculous business decisions ever made. A rapid reversal of that decision will end up being one of the smartest. I am not an HP shareholder, nor do I have a crystal ball that sees the future. I just cover this stuff for a living and I am confident I am right.

So draft that official memo to shareholders, employees and the press. HP realizes the move to mothball the TouchPad line was premature and not well thought out. Sales will begin anew immediately, along with production of the 7-inch model that was just weeks away when the executive order went out to can it all.

I predict HP stock will shoot up the moment you release such a statement. The TouchPad will start selling like crazy as long as some reasonable pricing is used. The zealous webOS user community will rally like few have ever done before, and the HP team behind the products will follow you anywhere. This one executive act will be studied in business schools in the future, and your name will be discussed by budding MBAs worldwide. You will be a hero, and there are very few of those in business. A Steve Jobs type of hero, and that's pretty good company.

Yours truly,

James Kendrick

ZDNet Mobile News

[poll id="9"]

The poll ran for a week and is now closed. The total votes submitted:

  • Bring back the TouchPad and webOS phones -- 5,759
  • Bring back at least the TouchPad line -- 1,760
  • Total votes submitted -- 7,519

Topics: CXO, Hewlett-Packard, Mobility, Operating Systems, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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