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Meg Whitman says she wants to move ahead with her predecessor's plans to chop up HP, including cutting out its core personal computer business.  (Source: Reuters (inset); Appetite Indulgence)
Company will still be place on the butcher's block with parts cut off and new ingredients added

Yesterday was seemingly a significant day for Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) with the board firing divisive CEO Léo Apotheker and pegging former eBay, Inc. (EBAY) CEO Meg Whitman as his replacement.  Now it looks like that move might have been more of a token gesture to placate angry shareholders than an actual sign of change.

Reuters reported mid-yesterday that insiders stated that HP executives had not deviated from plans to butcher the company, gutting the core Personal Systems Group 
in a spinoff and discarding the webOS devices business.  That report was confirmed yesterday in a brief interview of new CEO Meg Whitman by Bloomberg Businessweek.  The new CEO commented, "It [the leadership change] does not signal a change in the strategy. We are behind the actions that were taken on Aug. 18. We are firmly committed to Autonomy."

The news set investor pessimism to new highs.  The unpopular plans and outrage at analysis that HP is 
grossly overpaying to buy UK software maker Autonomy, Corp. Plc. (LON:AU) sent shares plunging to new lows.  Stock was down 4.4 percent in today's trading to beneath $21.80.  Previously shares had hit a low of $22.22 -- a 47 drop from when Mr. Apotheker assumed the CEO position.  Initially when news hit of Mr. Apotheker's departure, stock jumped to $24.92 on hopes that the leadership change might signal a course correction for HP.

If there's a ray of sunshine in the gloomy outlook for HP, it's that HP will owe Mr. Apotheker 
no severance pay, unlike previous CEO Mark Hurd who was given a severance package estimated to be worth between $25M and $50M USD.



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idiots
By Etern205 on 9/23/2011 12:20:49 PM , Rating: 5
Fire a idiot, hires a idiot. HP boards are all idiots!




RE: idiots
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/23/2011 12:27:56 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Fire a idiot, hires a idiot. HP boards are all idiots!

I'm just dumbfounded... why would you fire Apotheker if you're going to continue all his plans? The reason he was unpopular was BECAUSE OF THOSE PLANS.

Investors aren't stupid -- HP's stock is going to get hammered down down down in coming months...

It's like some sort of cruel joke that the board thinks they can be legitimate competitors to IBM/Oracle, particularly without their core PC business. It's appallingly dumb. Tom Perkins (former HP Chairman) was on the money -- they're committing corporate suicide.


RE: idiots
By ClownPuncher on 9/23/2011 12:29:14 PM , Rating: 5
They're going to merge with Qwikster and become the new AOL.


RE: idiots
By MrBlastman on 9/23/2011 1:10:47 PM , Rating: 5
It would only be fitting if they did so. Merge all the jack@sses together so they can all set sail on the failboat.


RE: idiots
By michal1980 on 9/23/2011 1:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
no they'll buy aol. And just become AOL.


RE: idiots
By Belard on 9/24/2011 12:28:07 AM , Rating: 2
You should be rated higher than 5 for that one!

Mark Hurd was doing pretty good with HP.... so what is it that he did that was a problem?

Bringing in that idiot Meg to replace another idiot is NOT how to fix their problems.

HP should crash and burn with their stupidity.


RE: idiots
By Da W on 9/23/2011 1:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's just a policital response you do on your first interview on your first day at the job. If you read between the line she only mentionned Autonomy, i wouldn't be surprised if she changes her mind about the spinoff plan in a couple of week.

They are all idots though and the board is going to be axed! At such low stock price any rich investor could take over that company and fire everybody.


RE: idiots
By Parhel on 9/23/2011 10:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's just a policital response you do on your first interview on your first day at the job. If you read between the line she only mentionned Autonomy, i wouldn't be surprised if she changes her mind about the spinoff plan in a couple of week.


That makes no sense. She was brought on board because Apotheker was fired, and he was fired because his radical and wrong-headed plans were making investors jump ship.

This move is to calm investors down so HP doesn't go belly-up. Why would she give a false response to the main question every investor wants an answer to? HP can't just flat out lie to their investors when asked directly.

quote:
They are all idots though and the board is going to be axed! At such low stock price any rich investor could take over that company and fire everybody.


Stock price means nothing without considering number of shares outstanding. HP's market cap, as of right now, is about $45 billion. Start at 51% of that amount for a takeover, and then the sky's the limit once the market gets wind.

And at that price, who would want a directionless company that's limping its way to the grave? There will be no "rich investors" in this story. Only the US government would make such a bad investment.


RE: idiots
By Motoman on 9/23/2011 2:28:36 PM , Rating: 3
The entirety of the board just signed their own warrants...there's no way the shareholders aren't going to get every single one of them (and this new CEO) tossed out on their a$ses, and probably sued.


RE: idiots
By unimatrix725 on 9/23/2011 2:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
+1
Well said...


RE: idiots
By Uncle on 9/23/2011 3:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
because he had to many skeletons in his closet. His connections destroyed his credibility from the start. If hp was to have brought in Meg from the start hp might have been able to pull this splitting and refocusing the company.


RE: idiots
By NellyFromMA on 9/23/2011 3:26:41 PM , Rating: 3
It is insane that they would replace Apotheker and yet continue his policies. I'm curious as to the exact justification for this?

As for them killing their big push for webOS, I do think that was smart as HP simply can't fight as hard/long (money wise at least) as Apple, Google or Microsoft.

As for the PC side of their business, I don't know if I have much of an opinion on that. Personally, I hate HP PCs and have never interacted with a quality one, nor do I appreciate their often bloated peripherals.

I feel like their reputation in the PC field is tarnished enough where there are enough people who either know themselves or know someone who is savvy enough to recommend against an HP PC purchase.

I also don't have any experience with their servers, but from what I understand that deliver better/well in this market. Still, I personally would stick with my Dell servers and due to their lackluster reputation in my and my collegues' minds, I would never gamble such a procurement on an HP machine of any sort.

Just my two cents.


RE: idiots
By CK804 on 9/24/2011 12:09:16 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like you don't know about their business PC line. I agree 100% that their consumer line of PCs is garbage, but their business stuff is a whole different story. It's analagous to night and day.


RE: idiots
By NellyFromMA on 9/28/2011 11:15:52 AM , Rating: 2
Without a doubt, I have no idea. I've heard good things about the server lines, but have no experience what-so-ever with their business line. You're actually the first person that I've heard speak highly of it. I'll keep it in mind.


RE: idiots
By MozeeToby on 9/23/2011 3:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Investors aren't stupid -- HP's stock is going to get hammered down down down in coming months...

You mean like dropping nearly 50% in less than 6 months? It's too late, they're already leaving in droves. I don't remember who said it, but they were right, HP committed corporate suicide. Hopefully the investors' inevitable lawsuit at least prevents the golden parachutes from being deployed.


RE: idiots
By Chadder007 on 9/25/2011 1:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
At most it will probably cost a lot of good people their jobs. The golden parachutes will still be deployed since its in their contracts. I'm sick of seeing crap like this happen.


RE: idiots
By augiem on 9/25/2011 3:00:46 PM , Rating: 3
I seriously hope HP's stock falls to the brink of death because of this. Sad to see such a foundational company in the tech industry implode because of unbridled greed and blind ambition. If HP simply held the course from before Apotheker, they'd be pretty well set. HP's revenues are (were) not shabby. But no, the whole freakin world is blinded by the weed-like growth of companies like Facebook and idiot investors have come to expect/demand impossible performance like that. I'm amazed how nonsensical these supposedly intelligent people can be. They all seem to actually believe the infinite is possible on paper. Grow, grow, grow!!! Pretty soon the tree's so big it falls under its own weight. But they don't care. They got their take and split to the Bahamas.


RE: idiots
By SlickRoenick on 9/23/2011 1:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly it seems HP's board is adopting the "like begets like" mentality


RE: idiots
By Dennis Travis on 9/23/2011 2:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed Completely!


RE: idiots
By V-Money on 9/23/2011 4:06:56 PM , Rating: 3
You overlook the fact that they didn't really hire an idiot, she was already on the board prior to the shift. All they did was start off with an idiot CEO with a board full of idiots, and they just shifted the idiots around. This really upsets me though because if they want to run their business completely into the ground, I will do it for half of what they are paying her.


RE: idiots
By thetruth81 on 9/23/2011 10:30:49 PM , Rating: 3
she might not be a idiot she might be a genius. She just need to continue to drive stock prices down why she frees up money. Then when she has enough buy a tons of HP stock and return HP to it original self. She will make millions and millions and laugh all the way to the bank or wine up like Martha Stewart. lol


RE: idiots
By geddarkstorm on 9/24/2011 12:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
HP: Tricked you~ ;)


Severance
By TheRealArdrid on 9/23/2011 12:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If there's a ray of sunshine in the gloomy outlook for HP, it's that HP will owe Mr. Apotheker no severance pay...


Who gives a damn if they don't owe him any severance? They're still giving it to him, to the tune of $8 million in cash and $17 million in stock. I wish someone would pay me $25 million to completely destroy a company in 11 months.




RE: Severance
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/23/2011 12:33:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Who gives a damn if they don't owe him any severance? They're still giving it to him, to the tune of $8 million in cash and $17 million in stock. I wish someone would pay me $25 million to completely destroy a company in 11 months.

To be clear the board was clearly at least largely to blame for those plans, given that they wish to continue them.

Apotheker was a horrible leader for going along with and even promoting in the outlandish plans, but at the end of the day he just proved a whipping boy for HP's board, by the looks of this news.

It's pretty much been all downhill ever since Mark Hurd left.

At least HP has the decency to spin off the PSG so they don't bring their computer sales business down with the ship. PSG Chief Tom Bradley has been ranked one of the brightest executives in the business by Fortune magazine. The PSG should be in good hands, even as HP crashes and burns.

Competing with Oracle and IBM? Ha, good luck with that...


RE: Severance
By TheRealArdrid on 9/23/2011 3:14:34 PM , Rating: 3
Undeniably. The sad part of it is Hurd was let go for the most asinine of reasons. It's just one more reason why personal indiscretions should have no bearing on politics or corporate governance. I don't give a damn if my politicians or CEOs are sleeping around so long as they're doing a good job.


RE: Severance
By Parhel on 9/23/2011 11:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To be clear the board was clearly at least largely to blame for those plans, given that they wish to continue them.


I'm beginning to think that this was the board's plan, and not Apotheker's, from the beginning. They must have hired the former CEO of SAP for a reason, right?

quote:
Competing with Oracle and IBM? Ha, good luck with that...


There's no way. Oracle and IBM have the presence they do because that's the business they're in, and have been in, for 20+ years. HP is too big. It's like trying to change your career at 50 years old, with two kids in college. They won't be able to fund themselves for long enough to get these plans off the ground.


RE: Severance
By Belard on 9/24/2011 12:34:45 AM , Rating: 2
No does HP have the guts or innovation to do anything else.

They don't create anything, other than a smaller and cheaper multi-function printer every year.... what else is new?

HP runs like a successful(profit) Commodore... but in the end, still morons. How they handled WebOS was a joke... their plans, a joke.

If they live long enough to make Win8 tablets, perhaps they'll last more than another year or so.


We were reading it wrong
By bug77 on 9/24/2011 8:03:43 AM , Rating: 5
It seems Mr. Apotheker was fired for not running HP into the ground fast enough.




firesale on HP Stock!
By johnsonx on 9/23/2011 2:54:54 PM , Rating: 4
Soon HP stock will be selling just as fast as firesale touchpads.... at 99 CENTS each!




Scream !
By greylica on 9/23/2011 4:33:10 PM , Rating: 2
YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !




RE: Scream !
By Etern205 on 9/23/2011 4:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
Whaaaaaat?
By Wolfpup on 9/23/2011 12:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
Umm...time for another CEO it sounds like. Two in a row who's plans for the largest PC maker are "hey, let's get in to the flower business instead!" is really bad luck :-D




Meatgrinder
By lightfoot on 9/23/2011 12:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
This just proves that the issues at HP have little to do with the CEO and much to do with the board. Clearly the board had to approve of the divestment of the PC business; they still don't see the error in that logic.

Does Meg Whitman realize that she's stepping into a meat grinder? Her role is clearly to be a scapegoat, not an executive.




How to become a board member?
By 2ManyOptions on 9/23/2011 1:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
So to be a board member do you need a degree from Harvard etc. or being capable enough to make stupid decisions along with others should do just fine?




$$$
By Etern205 on 9/23/2011 4:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
For every dollar they make a neuron dies.
Look how much money they make, no wonder inside their heads, there is a sign that reads "vacant".
I guess they make so much money, they have forgotten to how to use cents (sense).
GlaDOS should end it all with Neurotoxin :P




Recommendation...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 9/23/2011 5:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
Buy back Agilent - if you can't earn respect, maybe it can be purchased.




WAIT WUT??
By Chadder007 on 9/24/2011 10:45:04 AM , Rating: 2
What the damn hell? Seriously? They plan to continue with the plans that a CEO got fired for and ruined the Stock prices with? I can't believe this, just WOW.




"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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