If HP's new CEO really wants to take the time to talk to employees when he starts the new job next month, he should know that they have plenty of concerns about the way the company is headed.
Some of them believe that the company has lost sight of "The HP Way" and haven't been too impressed with the way things were run under the Carly Fiorina or Mark Hurd management regimes. As of now, they are feeling "dissatisfied," according to reviews of the company that have been posted on Glassdoor.com.
The site, which shares information such as salaries and jobs for free in exchange for feedback on the company culture, has logged more than 1,500 reviews by current and former HP employees, who have chimed in on everything from the work-life balance to the feelings that satisfying Wall Street is more important than the employees or the innovation.
In recent weeks, many of the comments have had a similar message. Consider this posting by a current employee based in Texas:
Senior management is running the company into the ground. Hopefully a new CEO will do an about face and want to retain employees rather than keep with the headcount counts. Those of us who happen to be left are very unhappy, and very under paid. I'm making what I was making in 2003... Give us incentives, we are hurting. Mark Hurds golden parachute could have really helped out thousands of employees.
New CEO Leo Apotheker, whose $1.2 million salary will be prefaced with nearly $10 million in signing bonuses and relocation expenses, said he's happy to be part of the HP family, telling analysts that “I don’t think there’s another company in tech that can match HP’s place in the market… I have a great appreciation for this company, its technology and its people.”
Employees overwhlemingly agree that there are good, smart, loyal employees working for HP, but there is dissatisfaction among the ranks - and clearly some turmoil among his bosses, the directors of the company.
At the World Business Forum in New York yesterday, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch blasted HP's board, noting that they have failed to do one of the primary jobs of any board: prepare the next generation of leadership. He told the Wall Street Journal that a board's job is to pick CEOs, help them plan the company's strategy and "get them the hell out of there" when they're not doing a good job. He said:
This crowd [at H-P] doesn’t seem to do any of that. They end up blowing up the CEO’s and don’t have anyone else in mind to come in. Where the hell was the leadership development? Who are these board members?
Apotheker takes the reins of the company on Nov. 1