What Analysts Are Saying

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-09-22 Print this article Print

Mark Fabbi, a vice president and Distinguished Analyst of Network and Data Center Infrastructure at Gartner, told eWEEK that there are definite pros and cons that come with Whitman's appointment, as with any new hire.

"The 'good' is that it's a permanent appointment, a key for any hire to avoid falling into HP's recent shortcomings; she clearly has a better ability to articulate a strategy and be very clear about what she's going to do; and she can expect to get better cooperation with the senior team," Fabbi said. "Her comment about 'recommitting to the hardware business' is a key one.

"The 'bad' is that she doesn't have experience of running a really big company, though not many have run a $100 billion company; and her experience is more consumer, while HP is clearly heading toward more of an enterprise focus."

Overall, the board acted decisively and clearly knew what they needed to fix, Fabbi said.

"After the call, I'm more supportive. She knows what a number of the problems are and she certainly said the right things. Now, we have to see how she gains exec support and regain confidence of the market, customers and employees," Fabbi said.

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT and a longtime HP expert, told eWEEK that "she's obviously bright and able, and her position as an HP board director makes her a known entity."

But her experience is mainly in consumer-facing services, and eBay's size/complexity is a tiny fraction of HP's, King said.

"More to the point, if the company continues its move toward enterprise IT software and services, who will be plotting that strategy? The other question is: What happens to Whitman's political ambitions? I believe she's said she intends to run for public office again," King said.

"Overall, Whitman seems like a good 'figurehead' CEO who could help calm the market and shareholders, but I wonder how long she'd stay at the job."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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