How bad were his decisions? Well, besides the market hating his every move, I actually heard old HP people wishing Carly Fiorina was back. You have to know how much the HP rank and file hated her to know how much that means. To quote one former HP employee, "I was there when Platt left and Fiorina was chosen. I was there when after 5 long dark years she was told to leave and we all danced on our desks." So, yeah, HP insiders hated what Apotheker was trying to do.
They're none-to-sure about Whitman though. Drazenko Djuricic, an IT consultant and former HP staffer, observed, "Correct me if I am wrong: But wasn't she the one who had the 'brilliant idea' that eBay should buy Skype? Oh great. Makes me wonder what brilliant ideas she'll come up with once she's in charge of HP"
He added, "Why don't they make Ann Livermore CEO? She'd sure know how to run the company she's been part of for so many years."
Damn good question. I wish I had a good answer.
Whitman may turn out to be as great as a winning eBay auction for that one last GI Joe you needed to complete your collection, but I really don't see anything in her record, other than name-recognition, that makes me think that she has what it takes to turn HP around. Although, for starters, just kicking out Apotheker's executive suite cronies and saying, "You know all that stuff he said about abandoning the PC market and tablets? Forget about it." would be a good start.
Ann Livermore would have been a smarter choice though. She's currently HP's executive VP of enterprises services. Outside of the eternally profitable printer division, her department is probably HP's strongest. She has enormous experience and is as sharp as a tack. Over the years I've met every major IT executive in the business from Microsoft's Bill Gates to Apple's Steve Jobs to IBM's Sam Palmisano. She's as smart as any of them and a far better fit for HP's CEO office.
But, like I said, HP's board seems to be suffering from something and so they're bringing in an outsider with no enterprise experience. Oh well, I'll wish Whitman luck and say this for her, "She's not Apotheker." Oh, and, rehire those webOS developers Apotheker fired, you're going to need them.