has to figure
out in what businesses
HP can be competitive
and lay out a strategy.
JOE ABIDAOUD, CIO,
its Personal Systems Group, planned to
kill its line of WebOS smartphones and
tablets, and had agreed to acquire software maker Autonomy for $10.2 billion.
“I think the decision was poorly
signaled,” said Gerry McCartney, CIO
at Purdue University, which uses HP
servers, desktops and laptops. “When
this was announced, it was unsettling.
You wonder, ‘What’s coming next?’ ”
McCartney said he isn’t rattled by
management shake-ups, but noted that
leaders shape a company’s direction,
which helps IT executives with product
and vendor choices. He called on
Whitman to communicate a five-year
product plan so he can stabilize Pur-
due’s internal IT road map.
“She has to figure out in what businesses HP can be competitive and lay
out a strategy,” said Joe AbiDaoud, CIO
at metals mining company HudBay
Minerals. HP’s current strategy “is
somewhat in flux,” he said via email.
Gary Kern, CIO of MutualBank
in Muncie, Ind., said that “HP needs
something to revitalize how they look
at their markets, and perhaps someone
from a ‘new media’ type company [like
eBay] could help with the thinking.”
Speaking to financial analysts shortly
after her appointment, Whitman said,
“The only thing that will rebuild the
confidence in this company is delivering
results, and that’s what I intend to do.”
For 10 years, Whitman transformed
eBay from a small online auction
company to a worldwide brand. In 2008, she moved on to pursue
a bigger ambition: to become governor of California. In 2010, she
won the Republican nomination for governor but lost the election.
Clearly, Whitman has the credentials to be a corporate leader,
but she will face close scrutiny in the months ahead as she tries
to prove that she can move from running a consumer business to
running an enterprise-focused IT vendor.
“Whitman brings her experience as a leader, no doubt,” said
N. Venkat Venkatraman, a professor of management at Boston Uni-
versity. “But her experience with enterprise is minimal at best.” u
Shah is a reporter for the IDG News Service. Chris Kanaracus of the
IDG News Service contributed to this story.
Users Hope Whitman
Can Bring Stability to HP
IT execs look to new CEO Meg Whitman to sort out the
muddled product strategy that Leo Apotheker set forth
in August. By Patrick Thibodeau and Agam Shah
HEWLETT-PACKARD CUSTOMERS who are disconcert- ed by the company’s recent track record of manage- ment turmoil and product strategy shifts are hoping that new CEO Meg Whitman can bring some stability to the Silicon Valley icon.
The former eBay CEO was named to succeed Leo Apotheker
late last month, shortly after his ouster from the helm at HP.
Apotheker was fired less than a year after he succeeded Mark
Hurd, who was dismissed amid a sexual harassment probe.
Ray Lane, executive chairman of HP’s board, acknowledged
that directors were “embarrassed” by the way Apotheker handled
announcements in August that the company might sell or spin off