Ashlee Vance, in the Sunday New York Times, took on the role of critic -- in the grand tradition of many journalists and analysts over the years. His target, not untypically, was the current CEO, in this case the teflon-coated Mark Hurd.
See TECHNOLOGY / COMPANIES April 26, 2009 Does H.P. Need a Dose of Anarchy? By ASHLEE VANCE Mark V. Hurd took over Hewlett-Packard and made it the world's largest technology company. The giant is now finding its way in a world full of smaller, more agile rivals.
I was quoted as saying they were seemingly under-investing in R and D, to which Shane Robison gave a snarling reply. But the facts are irrefutable -- HP, after spending 9% of revenues for sixty years, almost like clockwork, cut that to 6% under Lew Platt's regime, and from the midpoint of Carly's time until now, it has been reduced by a cool 0.5% per year, until now it is only 3% of revenues, one-half of IBM's investments in the future. To cut R and D by two-thirds, to rework HP Labs to the point of only pursuing work that the divisions will market or that universities will support (huh, say that again?), is to sell out the future. Period.
One might confidently predict that the constant wellspring of "renewal" -- so long the hallmark of HP -- is running dry. The acquisitions had better work