Any specific idea of who that visionary technologist might be? Do any names come to mind when considering the ideal leadership at HP?
As for the rest of the board, it seems as though there is agreement here that HP needs a change. Is there anyone who actually likes their current direction? Their current decision to lay people off not withstanding, is there anything they are actually doing right?
HP, as all technology companies, should be run by someone with engineering background, with both understanding and true passion for the technology, not by an administrator, or by a finance type/bean counter (see e.g. Fiorina, who probably was the biggest mistake among the incredible series of mistakes of the HP board). I am not sure what could be done now to save HP, short of a major shake-up of the BOD and the entire top management. However, for sure HP will not survive as a supplier of non-differentiated PC-s, inkjet or laser printers and inkjet cartridges, these products constituting the majority of HP sales. There may be some differentiation is servers and software/services, but those are becoming commodities, as well. For HP to survive it needs a visionary technologist leader who drives the remaining engineering talent at HP to invent and commercialize differentiated new technologies with long life cycles for sustained profitability (and to keep and hire new exceptional engineering talent, which is the only way to add significant value for a technology company). With a decade or more bumbling and egregious mistakes by HP's leadership it may be too late to save HP and make it again the pride of Silicon Valley, indeed our nation. Maybe the best option is for someone like Michael Dell (and private equity companies) taking it private and remake/reshape the whole company outside of the quarterly pressures of Wall Street.
RE Zewde yeraswork: For those who see this decision as an example of HP's poor leadership, what do you think HP ought to do rather than pursuing its curent strategy?
My favorite ideas:
Option 1: Fire every top level executive, move them to Detroit and have them clean up old burnt out buildings for a time period of not less than 5 years.
Option 2: Make them do road work in Phoenix during the entire summer months but only during daylight hours without sunscreen, again for a time period of no less than 5 years. (Phoenix Roads have a lot of potholes and 5 years may not be enough)
Option 3 make them all join the army and do duty for not less than 5 years in Afghanistan.
Option 4: all of the above
Personally I like Options 1 and 2, option 3 is nice; however these people are to stupid and stupid people in combat zones get innocents killed.
For those who see this decision as an example of HP's poor leadership, what do you think HP ought to do rather than pursuing its curent strategy? What would you like to see out of the company? Who would you like to see running it or, rather, what would you like to see from the leadership at HP in order for the company to once again be the "pride of Silicon Valley?"
Firing 5,000 could be a vicious cycle to fire more people. That is the problem. Lenovo and other Asian competitors will not sleep because 5k staff of HP are out of work. The challenge HP has is one of vision and strategy. I do not think they have the right mix now. Hurd was the only one that figured out the modern HP but they messed up with him.
HP is still a great firm. The only problem is that it is not well managed. Just look at IBM and its struggles since Sam left. While Rometty is a great lady, she has struggled to at least sustain the momentum that Sam had in place. Leadership matters and that is what HP is lacking now.
The problem with HP was firing the only man that knew how to run that company and then empowering him to compete with the firm. HP is a legacy company and I am so sad that if it does not get its acts together, it can go in the way of Blackberry.
Laying off people at a company like HP which thrives on the ingenuity and innovation of its engineers is a sure sign of an incompetent CEO, wanting artificially increase profits to enrich herself. I did not expect anything else from Meg Whitman. The BOD can be proud of themselves for hiring her. This seems to be the beginning of the end of HP which used to be the pride of Silicon Valley.
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