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 […]

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

Cringely's second column on the firing of Leo Apotheker

Given the news from Hewlett Packard today about the HP board reportedly firing CEO Leo Apotheker and replacing him with board member (and former eBay CEO) Meg Whitman, I could write a new column or take the easy way out and simply reprint my column from February 23rd predicting in some detail both events. Instead I’ll just include a link to that column since it includes 85 very entertaining reader comments that look in retrospect either brilliant or stupid.

That’s what I expect will be my epitaph: “He was either brilliant or stupid.”

If Leo in fact gets the boot today I’ll follow with a column tomorrow about Meg Whitman as HP CEO.

By |September 21st, 2011|2011|39 Comments

Why Leo Apotheker will be fired from Hewlett Packard

I don’t think Leo Apotheker is going to survive long as CEO of Hewlett Packard. This is not based on any inside information, just my own pondering. And when Apotheker does go down, I’m pretty sure I know who will take his place.

The players in this drama are Apotheker, various HP executives, and the HP board, with the important bit of information being that the board has changed substantially in composition since Apotheker was appointed last year. It’s a new board.

Leo Apotheker was a dark horse candidate to run HP. He’s German, comes from an enterprise software background at SAP, the big German software company, and has no history in hardware. All previous HP CEOs […]

By |February 23rd, 2011|2011|194 Comments