Monday, January 24, 2011

what is the early verdict

So, what is the news out of HP re Apotheker, now that we have a couple of months?

First, he was successful in fending off the subpoenas from Larry and team re the SAP / Oracle mess, so that's a plus. He really wasn't particularly in hiding, working daily from his office at HP headquarters during those first harassing weeks.

Second, he reportedly re-instated some of the salary cuts that draconian Hurd instituted to boost profits.

Third, he reportedly re-instated some of the R and D cuts that ...

Fourth, he announced a few personnel changes, including a shift in Corp Mktg director, and Corp Communications director. These did not play quite as well as points two and three; they instead generated some top-level angst about "SAP folk coming in"

Fifth, he and Ray Lane announced a sizable Board shuffle -- adding a couple of high-tech veterans, and more international perspective.

Sixth, the rumor mill swirls, as the Wall Street Journal circulated a story that HP immediately disclaimed, re Executive shuffle.

Certainly, the announced dividend and statement that the quarter is "on track" were affirming, and the stock price is back to where it was before Hurd's unexpected departure, but we'll know more by Feb 22 or so how HP is faring in fact in the market.

The followup blogs on the new Board, especially on the two women ex-CEOs, have not been very charitable, most noting that each had relatively undistinguished records -- but then, too, it has been a rough time for 'standard procedure'. That is maybe the bigger rap -- "HP has long since lost its leadership mantle, and this new Board shows nothing different in that regard."

Let's hope instead that we're about to see some further positive news

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