HP Chairman Ray Lane said current HP CEO Leo Apotheker is trying to reverse the damage done during the tenures of former CEOs Mark Hurd and Carly Fiorina, according to a report.
disappointing financial picture over the last two quarters has more to do with
the tech giant's previous two CEOs than current chief Leo Apotheker, according
to the chairman of the company's board of directors.
In an interview with Reuters
July 26, Ray Lane, who
came to the board about the same time Apotheker assumed the CEO position last
year, said that deep budget cutting during the tenures of Mark Hurd and Carly
Fiorina hindered innovation at HP, and that it will take time and investment to
turn things around.
things at HP is "not a three-month job," Lane told Reuters. "Mark Hurd did
not invest. He burned the furniture to please Wall Street. Leo is not that."
Apotheker was hired in September 2010 to take the reins at HP, the company has
seen its stock price slip and twice has cut company sales forecasts. He also
has revamped HP's executive management team
removing such stalwarts as Ann Livermore and Randy Mott-and has pushed the
company in new directions, including aggressively into the mobile-device
markets on the strength of the webOS mobile operating system inherited through
the acquisition of Palm.
appointment came eight months after he resigned as CEO of software giant SAP
following a financially difficult 2009. His hiring by HP generated mixed reviews
among analysts, and some
industry observers now are questioning whether he is doing right by HP.
a former executive at Oracle and currently a managing partner at investment
firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said Apotheker is taking a different
tack from Fiorina and Hurd, and focusing on the long term rather than
sacrificing innovation for short-term results.
Fiorina was a
volatile figure during her tenure as HP CEO, with the company's acquisition of
Compaq being her most controversial decision. During her time, HP also slashed
tens of thousands of jobs, a record that was raised by opponents during her
failed bid last year for the U.S. Senate in California. She was replaced by
Hurd, who served for five years until he was forced to resign in August 2010
after questions arose about his personal conduct.
Hurd was hired
a month later as president of Oracle.
criticism of Hurd echoed comments by IBM CEO Sam Palmisano
September 2010, when he told the Wall
that it was Oracle, not HP, that had become Big Blue's top
competitor, due in large part to the continued investment Oracle CEO Larry
Ellison was making in his products.
Palmisano said HP was hurt by deep cuts in its R&D budget under Hurd, and
that the company was losing relevance. He pointed to the bidding war between HP
and Dell last year for storage software vendor 3Par, for which HP eventually
paid $2.35 million. It was too high a price for the company, but given Hurd's
cuts of HP's R&D budget that made it difficult for HP to innovate from
within, the company had few options.
to be a very inventive company," Palmisano told the newspaper, indicating
that he thought the company overpaid for 3Par. "[HP] had no choice. Hurd
cut out all the research and development."