Corporate Shuffle: Meg Whitman Has Big Plans to Turn Things Around at HP

  • Just after taking over the reigns at Hewlett-Packard last week, Meg Whitman spoke with Kara Swisher of All Things D about her initial plans regarding her new role.
  • As HP’s new CEO, Whitman plans to focus on four major issues: meeting Wall Street’s expectations for HP over the next 45 days, integrating HP’s $10 billion acquisition of Autonomy into the company, making a decision whether to keep or spin off the Personal Systems Group (which includes HP’s consumer PC business), and meeting and getting to know HP’s employees.
  • “I took this job, because HP really matters to Silicon Valley, to California, to this country and to the world,” said Whitman. “This is an icon and the place where the initial spark to create Silicon Valley came from and I am resolved to restore it to its rightful place… I have the skills to do that.”
  • Whitman takes over for former CEO Leo Apotheker. According to All Things D, “the troubled tech giant has had a lot of leaders — seven CEOs since 1999.”

HP CEO Leo Apotheker Discusses New Online Strategy

In his first public appearance since joining Hewlett-Packard in November, CEO Leo Apotheker delivered a speech in San Francisco that outlined the company’s new online strategy that he explained will target both consumers and businesses. Apotheker emphasized cloud computing and an online app store as part of his vision to bring HP to the forefront as “the platform for the cloud and connectivity.” He suggested that the app store would include programs from HP as well as from other companies.

Apotheker dismissed speculation that HP would be acquiring software maker SAP AG or any other provider of transactional business programs. The Wall Street Journal reports that his goal is to address the “increasing amount of unstructured data — information that isn’t easily categorized”; HP will “focus on products and services that will help businesses better make sense of them.”

Apotheker explained that the company’s webOS operating system (newly acquired along with Palm last year) is designed for smartphones and tablets, but will also ship on HP PCs, providing the company with a greater scale. HP plans to produce laptops and desktops with webOS working alongside Windows, enabling computers to interact with HP’s smartphones and tablets.