Linked by Terry Shannon on Mon 7th Mar 2005 07:48 UTC
Editorial With HP's high-flying CEO Carly Fiorina departing, the company's woes are well known. But how did a firm with such a storied history and vast assets get headed down the wrong path, and what do they need to do to set their course straight?
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Just Goes to Show
by David on Mon 7th Mar 2005 20:07 UTC

Don't put stupid people in charge of your company who haven't got the faintest idea, or haven't tried, to understand the business you're in. You get business managers coming along all the time who think they can make decisions related to IT, and they just plain and simple can't - and worse, they don't learn from past cock-ups. You could tell that straight away whenever Carly Fiorina opened her mouth. 'What are you talking about?'. They continue to have the misconception that IT is somehow easy.

The most important thing though was, as an outsider looking it, was also totally obvious that she is a very, very (shockingly) poor manager. In a company as large as HP you simply need people on your side, and to do so you need to manage people effectively. Whatever you might want to do you always need to keep that totally in mind. When you join the company talk to a lot of people, find out what's happening. If you don't understand the technology get good advice and opinions and think objectively. Basic stuff. Make sure you have a clear strategy and make sure you're doing something. The most profitable part of the business is the printer side, and it's the only thing they've consistently invested in. Reselling other peoples' products is simply not a good idea - what is it that you do?!

I think a lot of people are asking that question of HP now, because you simply don't need a company that size to do whatever it is that they're doing. Actually I'm going to call it properly. It's Hewlett Packard - that acronym HP makes me a bit sick.