Headline Oct 26, 2014/

''' The - HEWLETT- PACKARD - Hour '''

FEW PEOPLE,  if any,  can sing two sings in different keys at the same time. Yet the boss of a troubled company has to belt out an upbeat number about:

How brilliant the firm is while simultaneously wailing a lament about how hard it would be to knock into shape.

Thorsten Heins, the newish boss of  Research in Motion , has been getting plenty of practice: the enfeebled maker of BlackBerrys told investors to expect a difficult time ahead.

And then Meg Whitman began singing both major and minor, when she became Hewlett-Packard's third chief in less than 14 months.

Ms Whitman's predecessor, Leo Apotheker, proposed a big shift in strategy. He saw only fierce competition and thinning margins in HP's personal computer business-

Although it was the world's biggest, and proposed spinning it off. And he agreed to pay $ 10.2 billion for Autonomy, a British Software company that specialises in analysing  ''unstructured''  data:

In videos, documents and e-mails rather than in neat rows and columns.

Investors had the spin-off idea; some also thought  HP  was overpaying for Autonomy. Mr Apotheker's brief tenure ended soon afterwards.

So far Ms Whitman's plan has been to keep doing just about everything, but to do it better. She soon cancelled the  spin-off; but she has repeatedly praised the Autonomy deal.

On May 23rd, 2012, announcing quarterly revenues of $ 30.7 billion, 5% lower than the year before, and net income of  $1.6 billion,  30% lower, she said that 27,000 jobs, out of nearly 350,000  would go by 2014.

That should save $3 billion -  $ 3.5 billion a year, some of it which will be spent on research and development.

Among the first to depart will be Mike Lynch the founder and boss of Autonomy, whose revenues fell in the quarter. Autonomy was to be overseen by Bill Veghte, who was also made the chief operating officer on May 30th.  

Autonomy and HP have not been comfortable partners. Autonomy's chief financial, technology, marketing and operating officers had already left.

Ms Whitman says the problem is  ''not the product............not the market......not the competition  but  ''scaling challenges'' .

Having run  eBay as its sales grew from  $4 million  to  $8 billion, she thinks she knows what needs doing.

One difficulty HP  faces, says Mark Fabbi of Gartner, a research firm, is that business customers see it as  ''a tactical provider of good things''.

Rather than as a  "strategic''  supplier of advice and whole systems.

Making the leap of one to the other is hard.  IBM did it, selling its PC business along the way to Lenovo, a Chinese firm that is now-

The World's second-biggest seller of PCs. IBM's focus these days is on software and consulting. Hardware is only 15% of its business.

Still, HP may find reinvention easier than Dell, an American PC firm recently overtaken by Lenovo.

Dell is aiming to provide more services and advice to businesses, rather than fighting to sell more cheap laptops.

Those areas now make up 31% of its sales. But the following quarterly figures were disappointing. Its share fell by 17%  in a day, in an echo of HP's plunge when Mr Apotheker unveiled his plans.

At least Ms Whitman has avoided a repeat. 

With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers involved in the business and future of technology. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' All Kinds Of Everything '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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