Should we stay or go now? That is the question the troubled computer giant must answer as it sends boss Leo Apotheker packing.
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But newly decorated boss Meg Whitman, the ex eBay Chief credited with turning the e-tailer around during her 10 year reign, appears to be prepared to take the decision head on, for better or worse.
“This decision is not like fine wine,” she told analysts last week. “It’s not going to get better with age,” indicating Palo Alto are going to stick with their guns on the fateful ‘decision’ made by her predecessor.
The ‘decision’ Whitman is referring to is of course Hewlett Packard sounding the death knell for its PC business earlier this year, saying it planned a “spin off” which has irked the industry and shareholders alike.
“There’s clearly some uncertainty,” declared Todd Bradley, HP’s Personal computing boss, who is currently scurrying around the globe rallying employees and reassuring clients HP is still the stalwart of the hardware industry.
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“We’re not being as clear with our own messaging with you as we should be. There’s been broad misinterpretation,” he added.
Analysts are also indicating Bradley, who was thought to be in the running for the top job, must be fed up with “persuading everyone and their dog that H-P is not getting out of the PC business,” after the shock announcement by the No.1 PC maker by sales.
“It’s got to be frustrating for him, as there are other things he could be doing,” said Garter analyst, Martin Reynolds.
After joining HP as an executive vice president, Bradley helped build up the computer business his bosses are now looking to get rid of – jaded from low margins and increased competition from Apple in the form of the iPad and Mac. The epic failure of Touch Pad tab was also seen as driving factor.
Under Bradley’s reign, the PC revenue were revved up to $41 billion annually from $29 bn, while profit grew almost double to $2bn a year from $1.2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal, and surpassed rivals Dell to become the largest computer maker.
However, in the third quarter of this year, HP’s PC revenues fell 3% from 2010 figures and although disappointing was hardly deemed sufficient to shut up shop.
But even though there was rumblings HP was sticking to its controversial decision, Whitman admitted her company must “obviously step back and take a hard look at this.”
“There are so many things that we need to work through on this spinning,” Mr. Bradley also admitted earlier this month.