Ashlee Vance and Aaron Ricadela did an extensive look at Meg Whitman and HP for Businessweek — one great anecdote from the Leo Apotheker era:
As one high-ranking former executive in the services business recalls, at his first meeting with Apotheker—to provide the lowdown on the services business—he and a dozen people gathered in a conference room to hear the presentation, only to watch as Apotheker nodded off. The group waited uncomfortably for about 15 minutes. The CEO woke up and, to the gathering’s collective astonishment, said he wanted to move quickly past the financial details of the business, in order to talk about less specific customer satisfaction initiatives,
Perhaps unfair to single out one instance of a man nodding off in a meeting, but seems pretty apt given HP’s last few years.
We’ve just been tipped to a memo circulated internally by HP’s Todd Bradley — who runs the company’s recently-merged Printing and Personal Systems Group — announcing the creating of a new Mobility business unit underneath him that will be responsible for “consumer tablets” and “additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers.”
It was a year ago tomorrow that HP killed off the TouchPad tablet and started the process of getting out of the consumer computing space entirely.
A month after that, CEO Leo Apotheker was fired.
Bradley, in his memo:
I am pleased to announce that we are creating a team dedicated to delivering the best mobility solutions in the industry. With this move, we are building on our commitment to re-invest in mobility via dedicated leadership, focused research and development, amazing new products and a growing suite of applications and services.
What’s amazing is that HP already *had* this team via the acquisition of Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010. They completely fucked it up. Now they’ve completely wasted of a year — which may as well be a decade in this environment.