Really, Hewlett-Packard? This is what’s become of the company of Bill and Dave—not just the founders of HP, but the founding fathers of Silicon Valley? Three CEOs in six years. Two of those CEOs who embarrassed themselves with pathetically inept campaigns for elective office. The other CEO who managed to get tossed out of his job by virtue of his (still largely unexplained) fascination with a B-level (and that’s grading generously) actress. Not to mention boardroom soap operas, front-page ethics scandals, and more changes of direction than a surfer in a hurricane.
It’s hard to argue with the assessment of Thomas Perkins, the legendary venture capitalist and a former HP director (who has hardly covered himself in glory during this mess), who told the New York Times back in August: “I didn’t know there was such a thing s corporate suicide, but now we know that there is. It’s just astonishing.”
Here’s my take for HBR on the “astonishing” decline of Hewlett-Packard, which has been reposted on Bloomberg BusinessWeek as well. Great debates on both sites! How would you fix HP?