It seems that HP are on the verge of firing their CEO Leo Apotheker and replacing him with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (who just happens to sit on HP’s board); whether Whitman will be an interim choice or a full time appointment remains to be seen however.
The reasons behind it aren’t exactly clear, but its a safe bet to assume that it has something to do with HP’s announcement that they were looking to offload their PC business and the absolute fire-sale of the HP TouchPad and abandonment of the webOS platform.
At the time I described those decisions as “The HP Way: Backwards” and it was a complete mis-strategy and hoped that HP would continue to be a great company and not move too far away from their core business and their ‘HP Way’ heritage.
Whilst the change in CEO is a clear reverse of strategy in relation to the PC business, will it also signal a renewal towards pursuing their webOS strategy?
Personally its difficult to imagine webOS making a come-back given that after HP announced the destruction of webOS a number of engineers and key personnel left. There are also the avid webOS fans who have given up on the platform and jumped towards Microsoft Phone, following the Softies wooing of those developers onto their platform.
In my mind the time for webOS has already passed; the only saving grace for the platform is the £99 TouchPad – IF – HP can produce a competitive cheap tablet.
More interestingly is the PC business. Microsoft have been insistent that the PC device is still very much alive, which is very much the opposite of Apple’s post-PC vision of the world; perhaps HP’s change of heart is an agreement with Microsoft’s vision of the future and the development of “PC Plus” and Ultrabooks being the next major milestone in PC technology.
HP have a lot of strategy reversing to do that will undoubtedly damage their business. The saving grace however is that HP haven’t forgotten how to build great PCs in the past month and will continue to do so if they chose to remain in the market.
The saga isn’t over yet and confirmation of the CEO change is still pending…..fingers crossed though, eh?