How HP’s Turnaround Got Derailed
HP has begun to spiral and with the reversal of Whitman’s stated strategy to hold HP together and flip from using a build strategy consistent with her early background at eBay. Her new strategy is now more consistent with one more closely connected to Bane & Company, where she worked before eBay, and focuses on keeping the financial analysts happy by making tactical moves to prop up the stock price for the firm by trading off its long term future and survival. She is now less and less seen as a savior and more often connected to her failed predecessors. This is not an uncommon problem and it showcases why Dell went private and why firms need to be led by subject matter experts and not treat CEOs as some kind of generic skill set. We have recently seen this in spades at companies like Microsoft and Yahoo who both suffered under the leadership of qualified CEOs who really didn’t understand the respective firm’s business intimately, even though one of them actually helped found his company.
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NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Review.