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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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RE: Severance
By JasonMick on 9/23/2011 12:33:30 PM , Rating: 3
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
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?

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.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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