Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 14:03 UTC
In the News Hard to believe, but articles are popping up at business websites claiming that venerable Hewlett-Packard may fail. In their most recent fiasco, HP wrote off a loss of $8.8 of their $11.1 US billion acquisition of Autonomy and have alleged fraud in the deal. Revenue is down 7% from a year ago and the stock has hit a 10-year low. The company is laying off 27K employees but that may not be enough. Some speculate HP might be broken up into parts with buy-outs involved. This article from last May offers a good in-depth analysis of how all these problems came to pass.
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RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Laurence on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

It raises the question of why these CEOs never think about hiring the right people or promoting the right people instead of laying off people, a group which will no doubt have included the right people.

The problem is you don't always know who are the right people until after the event. And it's often very easy for us armchair critics to boast such insights when we're not betting hundreds of thousands of employees and billions of dollars on every decision we make (much like how everyone thinks they're a better football manager than their favourite club's manager).

Plus you don't generate a loss of $8.8 billion without trying to buy in talent and promote talent. Clearly they did try that, and they failed (for whatever reasons). Now they need to retreat and regroup so they are around long enough to launch another assault.

Edited 2012-11-23 16:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kwan_e on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 23:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The problem is you don't always know who are the right people until after the event. And it's often very easy for us armchair critics to boast such insights when we're not betting hundreds of thousands of employees and billions of dollars on every decision we make (much like how everyone thinks they're a better football manager than their favourite club's manager).

Plus you don't generate a loss of $8.8 billion without trying to buy in talent and promote talent. Clearly they did try that, and they failed (for whatever reasons). Now they need to retreat and regroup so they are around long enough to launch another assault.


That's the problem with corporate culture: they are completely shit at identifying any talent or potential talent. Can you seriously tell me that, on pure random chance, none of the employees they are about to lay off would happen to have the right skills or even just the right potential to take things somewhere?

I've only been exposed to corporate employment for a comparatively short time and it's easy to see that identifying talent is simply not done. It's all about getting people to self-promote and doing things "above and beyond" their job description despite them being completely incompetent AT their job description.

It's not easy, but it's not done. You would expect a CEO being paid millions for company that earns millions would not have problems taking on difficult tasks. Yet they always take the easy option of laying off people.

They like to paint themselves as making the hard decisions. But they're not hard decisions at all.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by Laurence on Sat 24th Nov 2012 17:28 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I do see your point and to a large extent I do agree. But I also can't help thinking you're being very single minded with your view there. And I don't mean that in derogatory way because there is a lot of logic and sanity to what you're saying. But without sitting in the CEO chair myself (not even for a small business, let alone anything large scale) I find it hard to be as confident as you are on this issue.

As I said before, it's very easy to see with such clarity when you're an outside observer, but there's potentially all kinds of details we're not privy to that would create major complications.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't disagree with what you're saying, but I'm still somewhat on the fence.

Edited 2012-11-24 17:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by zima on Sun 25th Nov 2012 08:38 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

(much like how everyone thinks they're a better football manager than their favourite club's manager)

Also, 80+% of drivers think they are above average ones.

Reply Parent Score: 2