Is it just me or is this a really strange period for corporate craziness?
- Nokia flushes their entire R&D group to become a WinPhone 7 shop
- Sony has a month-long shutdown of PlayStation Network because it failed to secure its servers
- HP fires Carly, then fires Hurd after, er, "irregularities," then fires Apotheker after failing to pull a Lenovo and flushing a billion on WebOS/Palm
I would like to see Zombie Bill Hewlett and Zombie Dave Packard show up to a board meeting to see what HP turned into in the last 20 years. Maybe feast on the gathered brains...oh, wait...
If I were on the board, I would definitely not have chosen the CEO that oversaw the purchase of Skype and changes to the eBay rules that drove tons of sellers off the site. I know there's pressure to drive quarterly results and get the stock price, but here's a thought guys -- If you can get beyond 3 quarters, and the company actually MAKES a PHYSICAL product people want to buy, that isn't garbage, and your strategy is improving those products rather than all the branding garbage, the company will make money.
No one realizes that you have to put something in to get profit out every now and then. Only IBM, with gobs of money and a huge services division that doesn't stink as badly as EDS, can pull a Lenovo. And a product is not guaranteed to be an overnight success, especially when you fail to price it right. That's no reason to turn around after a month and say "oh well, that was a waste."
My recommendation? Pick a long-time internal executive who has actually been running a profitable product division for a very long time. They're going to be much more invested in HP's success than these celebrity hired-gun CEOs. People like that will realize that enterprises still buy lots of hardware, even if they're building these cloudy things, and work to make the hardware they buy better than anything else out there. That beats flashy marketing, "brand" and printer ink any day in my mind.
I'm a long-time purchaser of HP gear, business and personal, and all I have to say to Whitman is "Please, please please don't sell HP to Oracle - ignore the Hurd." That would be a very ignominious end to a great company.