Post-PC Evangelist Ray Ozzie Joins HP's Board
July 15, 2013 11:15 AM
Move is a surprising one, given HP's relative disinterest in mobile
Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
) has been
over the last couple years with stock plunging from an early 2010 high of ~$52.50 USD/share to a late 2012 value of ~$12.50 USD/share. Since that time, HP shares have more than doubled amid a general stock market surge and the steady leadership of
new CEO Meg Whitman
. However, one central problem for HP remains -- the company lacks any cohesive strategy for mobility, even as the market shifts away from the traditional personal computer.
HP has at times appeared defiant, insisting that it
does not need mobile to survive
. In that light
that HP has added
-- former chief software architect of Microsoft Corp. (
) -- to its board may seem a surprising one. Just last year HP had been
countering claims by Mr. Ozzie
that the market was entering a "post PC" era. Now they appear to be tapping his insight.
However the move follows recent direction changes at the personal computer giant, as HP has begun to
soften on its abandonment
of the mobile space. After
dumping webOS in Aug. 2011
, HP for a long time largely overlooked the tablet and smartphone sector. But earlier this year reports began to trickle out indicating that it was
preparing a new device campaign
, leveraging Google Inc.'s (
) popular mobile operating system Android.
Ray Ozzie [Image Source: Software Development Times]
The first result of that new look was the
Slate 7-inch Android tablet
, which debuted at $170 USD in Feb. 2013. Despite that attractive price point, the tablet's much lower spec than
the Nexus 7
($199) ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (
) has made it a slower seller than HP hoped. The tablet
in Amazon.com, Inc.'s (
) computer device rankings, following a price cut to $144 USD.
HP is also rumored to be
preparing an Android smartphon
In his new post, Mr. Ozzie will join the board's technology committee and the finance and investment committee. Under those roles he's expected to guide HP in acquisitions and R&D to make the company more mobile.
The company also added a couple of other prominent names -- Robert Bennett, former CEO of Liberty Media Corp. (
), and James Skinner, currently the chairman of Walgreen Comp. (
) and former CEO of McDonald's Corp. (
) -- to its board, as well.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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