The long running saga that Hewlett-Packard has now become is entering another phase with the arrival of a new CEO, the fourth in less than a 10 year span.
The departure of Leo Apotheker, a former co-CEO of SAP that lost that position for allegedly being too cerebral doesn’t come as much of a surprise. There were questions about his fit within the HP culture starting from day one.
As a result, there is a lot of anticipation, especially within the ranks of the channel, about what incoming HP CEO Meg Whitman, will do to right the HP ship. As the entrepreneur that gets most of the credit for building eBay, Whitman has a lot of experience when it comes to strategically applying IT to achieve a desired business goal. No doubt HP is hoping that experience will resonate with customers.
But it also should be noted that this is the same Whitman that lost the race for governor of California to Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, paid $2.6 billion to acquire Skype for no apparent purpose, and created an online sales channel in the form of eBay that in no small way contributed to the demise of IT product margins over the last decade.
The only things we do know for certain is that Ray Lane as chairman is now going to play a more active role and that HP is going to speed up the timeline concerning the fate of its PC division. We still don’t know if HP will sell the unit, spin it off or do nothing. But if they do spin it off, Dan Forlenza, HP vice president and general manager for the commercial managed IT segment says HP PC unit is $40 billion business that sells one PC a second. Those revenue numbers mean that HP’s PC unit is roughly the same size as Nike, and with 18.1 percent market share compared to 12.9 percent for Dell and 12.2 percent share for Lenovo the prospects of an independent HP PC unit are pretty good, and that’s before HP ultimately figures out what it wants to do in the tablet space.
In the meantime, the jury is still out concerning what ultimately will become of HP as it moves to compete more aggressively around software and services. But the one thing that is for certain is that the sooner HP puts an end to all this drama the better it will be for all concerned.Tags: channel, Meg Whitman, Ray Lane, Hewlett-Packard