Yes she can
Best Argument: No way
Restoring business-as-usual is job one
Jason Hiner: Leo Apotheker had the wrong vision for HP and unnecessarily put the company in disarray. The HP board realized it had made a massive mistake and wisely decided to move quickly to restore order inside the company and give the public hope that HP can pull itself together.
Meg Whitman may not be the ideal CEO -- she doesn't have the enterprise IT chops -- but she was one the best options HP had available and she's smart enough to hire or retain the right lieutenants. She'll immediately bring stability and her arrival will give the company a (mostly) positive spin that it could use right now in the wake of the Mark Hurd scandal, the Apotheker disaster, and the overall missteps by the board.
It's a solid short-term move. Whether Whitman can create a vision to lead HP into the next decade remains to be seen. But, for now, restoring business-as-usual to the world's largest computer maker will be enough.
None of HP's problems are quick fixes
Larry Dignan: HP Executive Chairman Ray Lane said that Meg Whitman knows leadership, communications and IT. "Meg was both a large purchaser of information technology for the enterprise, and ran a company that depends on technology to deliver its service," said Lane.
If only it were that easy. Amazon's Jeff Bezos buys a ton of technology too, but I'm not so sure he could run a hardware and services company. Whitman's experience screams consumer, branding and strong leadership. Only that latter part applies to HP.
Whitman can stabilize HP, but will be hard-pressed to make it hum. She'll need the operational knowhow of key execs such as Dave Donatelli, who runs HP's enterprise server, storage and networking business. The catch is Donatelli has been passed over as CEO material twice. Whitman also has to figure out the services business.
She'll make some progress, but won't turn HP around completely. Perhaps she sets the stage to hand off to another CEO.