Dinner last weekend with two HP VPs and two other long-term HP veterans -- 116 years of total service between them. Three of the four argued that HP still had plenty of enthusiasm and dedication, and that the HP Way was alive and well in groups where their leadership was "old school" or simply enlightened and bought into the HP Way as long practiced.
All four, however, reported independently that the image of HP being the leading corporate citizen in the community, long a cherished hallmark of the company, has dried up in the current regime. Carly, they averred, was as strong on that as Lew or even Dave; not so under Hurd.
At a key Foundation meeting in Chicago two weeks earlier, I was astonished and saddened to hear the perspective of leadership at the Gates, Ford, Kauffman, Knight, and MacArthur Foundations, not to mention the Tiger Woods, Carlsen, and other smaller foundations share their feelings about HP absentee-ism for the topic of science and math education in America. They were outspoken about their perception that HP only cares about sales, and ties corporate giving to "deals" at best these days.
Moreover, the considered opinion was that nine of the top ten high-tech firms in America (and recall that HP is now THE top high-tech company on the globe) have their CEO or Chairman or both involved enough in STEM education to be carried on the front pages of the Wall St Journal while HP "stands aside". What the hell has gone wrong at this place? Is the new guy in touch with anything besides the bottom line?