Autodesk’s John Walker explained HP and IBM in 1991

autodeskcoverOne reader of this column in particular has been urging me to abandon for a moment my obsession with IBM and look, instead, at his employer — Hewlett Packard. HP, he tells me, suffers from all the same problems as IBM while lacking IBM’s depth and resources. And he’s correct: HP is a shadow of its former self and probably doomed if it continues to follow its current course. I’ve explained some of this before in an earlier column, and another, and another you might want to re-read. More of HP’s problems are covered in a very fine presentation you can read here. Were […]

Hear that? It’s HP founders Bill and Dave spinning in their graves


Corporations, especially big American corporations, file lawsuits all the time for many reasons. Often they sue to force others to comply with agreements or to punish non-compliance with the law. But sometimes they sue, well, just because they can. I suspect that is what’s happening in Hewlett Packard’s current fight over Autonomy, the UK software company HP bought two years ago for $11.1 billion. The HP board seems determined to demonize Autonomy founder Mike Lynch for being smarter than they are.

Given the smarts that HP board has shown in recent years, we may all be at risk of being sued by the company.

HP, its business faltering with no mobile strategy to speak of and its stock dropping, has been looking like stupid-on-a-stick for years […]

By |November 28th, 2012|2012, Business, Companies, Computing, Industry, Technology, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Hear that? It’s HP founders Bill and Dave spinning in their graves

The once and future WebOS

WebOS, first from Palm and then from Hewlett Packard, came and went so fast most mobile software developers never even got a chance to play with it. Now HP has declared WebOS to be Open Source, placing the project (it’s really not a product anymore) under CEO Meg Whitman to show they haven’t totally given up on the mobile OS. But what is WebOS, really, in this new incarnation? Its potential is enormous — far greater than most people realize — but I simply don’t see HP and Whitman as being able to execute on the plan, if there really is one.

WebOS and its Enyo application framework are clever and elegant and have one important […]

By |December 14th, 2011|2011|55 Comments

Why Brian Utley should be HP interim CEO

I’ve already explained why I think Meg Whitman is a poor choice to lead Hewlett Packard. Here’s why Brian Utley would be so much better.

What HP needs most at this point is breathing room and hiring Brian as interim CEO would do that, allowing the company to make a proper CEO search (including a number of good internal candidates) while leaving the company in good hands. Well past normal retirement age, Brian would have no Whitmanesque ambitions to run the company long-term, though I think he’d really enjoy running HP for awhile.

It’s time for the HP board to give up trying to act in fell swoops. They simply aren’t smart enough.

Brian, if you […]

By |September 22nd, 2011|2011|41 Comments

Brian Utley (not Meg Whitman) for HP Interim CEO


Since the consensus view seems to be that Hewlett Packard will today replace CEO Leo Apotheker with board member Meg Whitman, let’s just assume that’s what will happen. Now I’ll explain why it is a bad idea.

Oh getting rid of Leo (or not hiring him in the first place) is a fine idea. Leo didn’t fit the culture or the industry and he arrived with way too much baggage from SAP. Hiring Apotheker was an example of the HP board trying to get ahead of the Mark Hurd scandal by making what it hoped would be a brilliant hire in Apotheker that would silence Wall Street criticism. The problem with that last sentence is the word hoped: hiring Apotheker was actually a giant crap […]

By |September 22nd, 2011|2011|29 Comments