So Meg Whitman is now the latest in a relatively long line of CEOs (I believe the eighth since 1999) in recent Hewlett-Packard history. This is an interesting choice but, in my mind, not a really good one.

I worked at HP many years ago, when Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard ran the company. At that time, HP was famous as an innovative Silicon Valley high-tech company with high quality products, a wonderful relationship with its employees and a healthy profit margin. This continued when John Young took over the reins. However, in the last decade-plus, company operations and perception of HP from the outside have turned decidedly south.

Enter Meg Whitman. Her eBay record was certainly notable, but eBay and HP are very different animals. She does not have any high-tech hardware experience and she is moving into the leadership position of a company that appears to be trying to find itself, i.e., regain a position of prominence, in the markets it serves.

Then there is the culture aspect. The corporate attitude at stalwart HP would seem to be significantly different from that of a relatively new company such as eBay. Can Meg Whitman fit into the HP role and be viewed by its employees as a CEO to be admired and trusted or will they see her just another chief who will do whatever it takes to achieve the profits demanded by HP’s shareholders?

HP needed to get rid of Apotheker, its last CEO disaster, but I don’t think Meg Whitman is the right person for the job, especially at this critical junction in HP’s life. To me, it’s trying to put a round Meg in a square HP hole.

Posted by admin, filed under Uncategorized. Date: September 25, 2011, 10:51 am | No Comments »

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