Lane Believes HPs Future Should Be Laid Out by Its CEO

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-04-04 Print this article Print

Regarding a high-level view of HP's strategy, Lane said the future direction of any company should be laid out by its CEO.

"Meg has done that in bits and pieces. At the [recent] shareholder meeting, she laid out quite a comprehensive plan at a very high level, and during 2012, she will do more of this," Lane said. "She basically will be taking this to the right communities€”the shareholders, the analysts.  She should be doing this; I don't think I should be doing it.

"I'm not going to front-run her; that would be a poor thing to do for a partner."

Why HP Will Look More to Outside for Innovation

Regarding future product and services innovation, Lane said that the company would be looking more often to the entrepreneurial community for ideas and guidance in 2012 and in the years to come.

"Big companies, by and large, don't keep their ear to the ground as well as they should," Lane said. "They think they do. This happens in all industries. Innovation doesn't happen at GM, for instance. They're not listening to all the innovation in the supply chain; that's where it all happens. They're thinking about the car of the future without talking to the suppliers who know how to build the car of the future.

"There is a big community of startups here in the valley that want to talk to HP. They want to have a dialog, and they aren't afraid of HP stealing its IP. The marriage of great technology that's protected by IP and the velocity at which a startup moves, combined with the scale that HP can provide, is something that we are trying to be better at."

In the past, conversations and possible partnerships like these tended to get lost in the bureaucracy of HP, Lane said.

"You can't take away the scale of HP. It's 320,000 employees and $130 billion in revenue," Lane said. Not to mention more than 100,000 contractors and business partners.

"A year from now, I'd like some feedback. We'll never be the company that, if you hit the ball at us, we'll hit it right back at you. We're too big. But we should be responsive, we should determine if new technology fits, and is it synergistic with what we're trying to do," Lane said.

"One thing I will tell you: We're not going to try and do everything. We're not going to try and cover the landscape. We're going to work through younger companies, smaller companies. [That] is going to be a better way of operating."

A Few Notes on the HP Campus Move

Apple bought HP's 98-acre Cupertino campus in November 2010 for about $300 million. It is located directly north of the current 35-acre Apple campus; the two sites are divided by State Highway 280 and are only a few miles west of San Jose, Calif.

HP, which is building a new EBC on its original Palo Alto campus about 8 miles away, will vacate the Cupertino location, which has housed not only the EBC but also part of the company's personal computer division and other research and development groups.

Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK's Editor for Features and Analysis. Twitter: @editingwhiz

Cupertino, Calif., April 3, 2012: AO Network CEO Tony Perkins (center) takes a question from the audience for HP Executive Chairman Ray Lane (right). The misspelling of "Evolution" in the slide behind them brought some smiles. (Photo courtesy of Jean-Baptiste Su of L'Expansion.)

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 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 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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