Monday, September 27, 2010

what next for HP and crowd?

The beleaguered HP Board settled with Mark Hurd last week, getting $13.5 million back (of the $42 million they gave him) and in turn withdrew their injunction request to stop him from going to work for Larry Ellison at Oracle. Since Hurd's paycheck will total around $11 million with an upside 'prob,ability' of another $5 million, he probably felt that he could be a bit magnanimous.

After a suitable few days, the Board floated their current best thinking:
1. They want an insider (this after looking at a crop of outsiders, and presumably listening to a lot of 'oldtimers' about the last two choices)
2. They discussed a couple of outsiders that they had considered, sort of explaining that they were 'late' for the one who just became the new Nokia CEO...
3. They said Todd Bradley, Ann Livermore, and Dave Donatelli -- in that order -- were the leading inside candidates, while the newspaper showed a big article with Viomesh Joshi prominently talking about the peripherals business, far and away the most profitable part of HP. VJ was not "on the list" put forth by the board
4. Astonishingly candid, the article said "several members of the Board" backed Bradley, "who has many of Hurd's capabilities" The article went on to note that Livermore is the best candidate in terms of the company employees liking her, but "she's been passed over twice". It then said Donatelli hasn't been at HP long enough (just a year), so is "unlikely" to prevail. This was all big news a week ago; nothing has appeared since. Wierd, don't you think? Says they're wrestling with something that has them uncomfortable.

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