Because Hewlett-Packard Co. is one of those IT companies that is everywhere, everybody seems to have an opinion on decisions that have been made recently on Hanover Street in Palo Alto, Calif. And the analyses are only beginning.
In the unlikely case you haven’t heard, we’ll put it as succinctly as we can:
a) HP financials have been slipping badly for months;
b) HP has decided to shutter its webOS hardware division (tablets and smartphones);
c) HP is going to sell or dump entirely its personal computer division; and
d) HP is going to acquire a U.K.-based enterprise software company, Autonomy, to help lead it back to the Promised Land, where it enjoyed milk and honey for most of its 72-year history.
Almost all of the problems leading up to these developments were caused by decisions made on the watches of the last three CEOs: Carly Fiorina (1999-2005), Mark Hurd (2005-2010) and now Leo Apotheker (2010-present). Fiorina and Hurd, mostly. Apotheker’s role is to play the heavy at this time, but he’s the captain of a listing ship, so he’s getting the heat.
Mr. Apotheker is already getting the name treatment. Ed Bott referred to him this way in a tweet Aug. 20: “The HP board just met and voted 7-1 to give their CEO a new name. In honor of last week’s events, he’s now Leo Apocalypse.”
“If HP spins off their PC business … maybe they will call it Compaq?” tweeted Dell CEO Michael Dell on Aug. 18.
“Like the Brady Bunch, this group (HP and Autonomy) must somehow form a family. Hold onto your e-discovery hats!” posted Enterprise Strategy Group e-discovery analyst Katey Wood.
While there are many perspectives from which to choose, some are more insightful than others. In our opinion, here are a few good ones to read, if you’re so inclined:
–C/net’s Jim Kerstetter: Carly Fiorina Era is Finally Over … Good Riddance. Some good history here. —Business Insider‘s Matt Rosoff: Leo Apotheker has Totally Lost Control of HP. First writer to come out and say this. —eWEEK‘s Eric Lundquist: Leo Has to Build a New HP House While Tearing Down the Old. Few writers are more succinct — and accurate. –eWEEK’s Jeff Burt: HP Hopes for IBM-Like Success as It Spins Off PC Business. What HP is thinking. –eWEEK’s Wayne Rash: HP Looks Panicky as It Dumps Valuable Mobile, Consumer Product Assets. Knows his stuff and knows how to present it.
The Station also humbly submits his own analysis, looking at the news from the Autonomy and Big Data point of view, which frankly few people have written: HP Bombshell Has Big Data Written All Over It
Oh, and one more thing. Here’s a rather sardonic YouTube video being circulated by some folks. Retweeted Aug. 20 by the CEO of a well-known cloud services company. Warning: It’s crass. But it also represents what some people are thinking. Undoubtedly, many of them are at HP itself.
This is the New Age of communication. If you’re not ready for it, don’t subscribe.
That is all.