HP announced that its board of directors has appointed Meg Whitman as the new HP President and CEO. Meg was of course eBay CEO prior to handing the reins over to John Donahoe. She also spent a small fortune of her personal money in a failed attempt to become Governor of California.
Since Carly Fiorina (who also had a stab in politics) left HP in 2005 they have had no fewer than 4 CEOs with Meg being the fifth to be appointed in just six years.
HP have toyed with many forms of technology from computers, laptops and printers (I always use HP laser printers!), to more recently mobile smartphones and tablets. In recent years though they’ve struggled to find their place in the industry and have killed off their tablet and smartphone businesses.
Talking of her new job Meg said “I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters – it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world”.
Meg has experience of running a multi-billion dollar business at eBay, but even there she made mistakes. Investors never forgave her dalliance with Skype (which eventually turned a profit) and PayPal could have been acquired more cheaply several years before eBay eventually purchased them. The big question for the fortunes of HP though is, having grown eBay into a multi-billion dollar business, can Meg move to another multi-billion dollar business which is struggling and turn their fortunes around?
Bad move for HP, shame to see a great company floundering, the effect of losing people who look after the customers first.
It looks as if HP has some very serious problems. What they now need is a period of stability. A CEO who will stick around and identify and sort out the problems is their first priority. Then they can start to think about new products and markets but they have to get the basics sorted first. Will Meg Whitman do that? No idea. Only time will tell. But if she goes in with the idea of changing everything she will fail and be yet another CEO who failed to stop the rot.
It may be that HP is screwed whatever, but we’ll see. meg whitman is a formidable leader and first class brain, so that gives her a fighting chance.
What I don’t understand is the urge to constantly seek money and power. If I had her money, I would certainly spend as much of my time on enjoyment as possible.
seeking money and power is the ultimate enjoyment
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