Robert Scoble and I were talking last night about HP and the shitstorm that they are in. He summarizes my thoughts in his blog post. Hewlett-Packard Company was a great company. Their DNA is everywhere in the best valley companies and through the world. I feel for the employees. Demand that they give you the company back. Put the employees in control put innovation in their hands.
When I joined the “Hewlett-Packard Company” in 1988 the revenues were around $8 billion and when I left in 1997 it was close to $40 billion. Now I live in Palo Alto not far from the Garage that is the landmark (birthplace of silicon valley) of the founding of the company. They survived those post-mini computer days by innovating computer products. With the LaserJet leading the way they introduced ink jet printers then established a PC and Server (Intel line) of products. The dominated the ‘distribution channel’ in the early 90s. The HP-Way was a part of that. It was a great time of company growth and reinvention. The company was vibrant and full of energy – all under the helm of Lew Platt who was old school Hewlett-Packard (Lew passed away this past year).
Then Carly’s failed strategy to change the HP Way basically destroyed the company. Employees revolted. She changed the name shut down offices that were shinning examples of the HP way (company’s scared cows). Then tried to dominate the industry through acquistions not innvoation (like the laserjet and printer business in the late 80s and pc dominance in 90s).
Something doesn’t smell right a 20 yr board member leaking stuff to cnet. Give me a break. My take is that the company, employees are still fighting hard to bring back the ‘proven’ HP-Way. Sounds like the board is thinking is different.