Can Meg Whitman do what Leo Apotheker couldn’t for HP?
Looks like we may find out fairly soon. Kara Swisher at AllThingsD is reporting that former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is being considered by HP's board as a replacement for Leo Apotheker.
This swap isn't a done deal, but just the fact that multiple sources are telling Swisher that Whitman is an option indicates Apotheker's days may be numbered. Bloomberg is also reporting that Apotheker, who took over at HP on Sept. 30, 2010, is close to getting the boot.
Whitman has the chops since she ran eBay, which was a large organization. It also doesn't hurt that Whitman has worked at Procter & Gamble, Disney and as a consultant at Bain.
HP could clearly use a whiteboard and some strategic thinking from an outsider. Apotheker's missteps are numerous. Here's the short recap:
- Apotheker announced a cloud strategy that revolved around the enterprise and consumer. The consumer part was nixed after HP killed the TouchPad.
- HP ventured to buy Autonomy in a deal that was widely panned because it drained cash and wasn't worth the money.
- And HP announced that it would evaluate spinning off its PC unit without any due diligence ahead of time. By announcing that the PC unit may be spun off, HP left a large business twisting in the wind for rivals like Dell to take share.
- HP also managed to miss multiple quarters and cut its outlook repeatedly.
- Analysts argued that HP has been juggling in a wind tunnel as it fumbles for a strategy.
Add it up and the Apotheker era hasn't been a good one for HP and the board looks like it wants to start anew even though changing CEOs after just a few months is very embarrassing. The largest question for HP is this: What exactly does the company stand for? Today, HP is sort of an IBM-lite as it tries to do hardware and software while ditching low margin businesses like PCs. Who knows what Whitman will do.
On the bright side, at least Apotheker's tenure will have lasted longer than the TouchPad---but not by much.
Investors liked the idea of Apotheker leaving HP.
- Analysts crush HP’s revamp: ‘Juggling in a wind tunnel’
- Why HP’s latest move was more ballsy than moronic
- HP acquiring Autonomy - is this HP’s IBM moment?
- Oracle’s decision to nix Itanium support hurting HP sales
- Making sense of HP’s Autonomy acquisition
- Palm. HP. Who owns WebOS next?
- A tale of two failures: Microsoft’s Kin and HP’s TouchPad
- HP’s WebOS conundrum: Sell the IP or try licensing?
- HP’s Apotheker recounts TouchPad disaster in post mortem
- HP punts on WebOS, discontinues TouchPad, cuts outlook
- Surprise! HP names Leo Apotheker CEO; Can he rewrite his legacy?
Around the network:
- CNET: HP’s greatest hits: These PCs were good
- ZDNet UK: HP to buy software maker Autonomy
- CNET: What HP’s PC spin-off plans mean for you
- CNET News: HP’s Carly Fiorina era is finally over…good riddance