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« A $21 Million Reward for Failure | Main | Google, Wikipedia and More »

February 10, 2005

Comments

Fine James

The first thing that the HP board should do is resign, the whole lot of them!

They let Carly bring down a once great company.

Jim Horning

Your plan is especially appealing if Michael Capellas is brought in as the new CEO of (the current) HP.

Marshall Lollis

I would like to see the board pursue getting Walter back, now that Carly is gone.

Karen M.

But what about the HP employees, especially those who remember the HP Way? Why not sell off the Compaq part of the business, so HP can (try to) go back to doing business the way it used to?

How can HP renaming itself Compaq be the right thing to do?

(I watched a background story on HP on the NewsHour tonight...)

hal netten, retiree

Retired senior exec Webb McKinney managed the nuts and bolts of putting the merger together. He would be the ideal COO to decide what business HP should keep and what it should spin off, while at the same time re-instituting the cherished HP Way. A new CEO can then be brought in from the outside to keep the Board happy. Works for me!

Marcus Brandybuck

I've never quite understood the underlying current of desire for Carly to fail.

She was, in fact, pretty stupid about some things and failed to understand how powerful symbols are (gee let's layoff 6,000 people and, oh yeah, get a jet). Often I just think she got the job too soon,. . . that she needed a couple of years of pre-CEO mentoring, seasoning and maturing.

But HP was mess and would have probably suffered more under a Platt like CEO. The tech downturn was fast in coming and slow in leaving. I think the Compaq deal was the big error. It was too much to address at least from the sense of integrating into a product landscape customers could understand.

As I look at the company now, I don't see them having made the gains in servers they should have, and that's the only area where I think Compaq could really have complemented HP.

So from that strat, the basis for getting a possible win was pretty narrow. Long odds of success.

I think the deal suffered from the classic 'nonrational escalation of committment' where the Board and she stopped thinking about the business rationalization and just focused on getting the deal done.

So yes, fire the Board.

I hope she takes a breather, takes some reflection time and then jumps into something. She's a smart woman but one that took on a bitch of a job during a tough time.

Servers, printers, enterprise and software aside: As a PC product side note: I am a Mac user but also just bought an HP Pavilion dv1000 . . loaded barely tips $2,000. Great size/weight/thickness (1.18") . . a Dell equiv would have been one of their obnoxious 2+" thick oafish laptops; a Sony $1,000 more. SO, somewhere in HP you have people able to conceive and build great products at a great value.

Paul Stuart

The Compaq acquisition was reason enough for her to get canned. Go to HP's sight now and shop for a personal computer. You find HP and Compaq computers competing with each other! What's the big difference? Where's the freakin' synergy. That the board let this happens demonstrates that they need to be replaced too.

I regret the loss of a woman in power but she lost me when she said that outsourcing was the result of lack of qualified Americans....

Marcus Brandybuck

I agree with Paul about HPs site . .once I found the 'dv1000', I was very happy; but the site was a drag deal with . . the Compaq vs Pavillion distincion being only the first level of product confusion.

Per outsourcing, she was just stupid again; her comment that nobody has a God-given right to a job . . was mean-sprited and further fired up the argument in a direction it didn't need to go.

It spoke more to the seasoning she lacked. Nevermind how on earth the Board thought someone with NO OPERATIONS EXPERIENCE could run a company like HP. How much time in the past 6 years has been focused on the wrong things (everything but innovation, it seems) is painful to consider.

Allan

> How can HP renaming itself Compaq be the right thing to do?

It isn't - Dan is advocating the transfer of the HP name to the original products that HP was known for. I'm sure the current HP shareolders wouldn't like this plan at all, unless they had significant equity in Aligent.

What's funny about this scenario is that if HP renames itself Compaq, and decides to bring back Capellas, then it just better pull up its Silicon Valley roots and put their HQ back to the overcrowded, smoggy, industrial hellhole known as Houston.

Allan

Karen M.

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't quite grasp that all of the original HP invention & technology had been moved to Agilent, so I re-read all of the other comments, and Dan's post.That does make sense after all. But there doesn't seem to be any really good solution for all of the affected employees, but then what else is new...

aNonMooseCowherd

It's not clear that HP should ever have gotten into the computer business to start with. In the 1960s they had a great reputation for electronics test equipment (the part that is now Agilent). I used some of their computers in the 1970s and it was clear that they didn't know what they were doing. One series I used had an operating system that was primitive compared to its competitors -- for example, the file system was optional, so most software wrote to absolute disk addresses, something that everyone else had abandoned in the 1950s. Being twenty years behind the times is not a good sign for a computer company.

Cranky Observer

> But HP was mess and would have probably suffered more
> under a Platt like CEO. The tech downturn was fast in
> coming and slow in leaving.

Taking all the good solid technical information off the HP web site and replacing it with links to "store.hp.com" was a great move, I have to say. I depended on that info to be complete and accurate for 20 years (10 years on the web) - now it is all replaced with marketing fluff. To me that says all that needs to be said about Ms. Fioria's tenure.

Cranky

JW

I think HP and Compaq should split and become separate companies like Black&Decker and Dewalt. They can both have the same ownership, or better yet sell Compaq back to investors and let them be company again without Momma HP. Let the people at Compaq invent things designed for Compaq and let HP do their things with servers and scanners and other electronics. Compaq has a solid reputation for the best servers and great PC's and laptops. I would rather buy a "Compaq" Proliant than an HP Proliant, or a Compaq Ipaq over an HP Ipaq. Compaq is a very reliable name, and much more powerful than Hewlett Packard when it comes to computers. Now that Carly has been canned, they can move on to better things again.

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