Meg “Mini Mitt” Whitman gritted her teeth and announced the worst quarter in Hewlett Packard’s 73 year history. Part of the loss is due to a write-down of the value of EDS which HP acquired from Ross Perot in 2008, and also due to the cost of severance payments to the first wave of the 27,000 workers Whitman sacked.
Revenue declined in each of HP’s four major business segments: Personal Systems; Services; Imaging and Printing; Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking.
Whitman, who has been described as Mitt Romney’s “protigee” at Bain & Company from 1981 to 1989, was also funded by his big donors during her 2010 California gubernatorial bid.
She has been at the helm of HP for almost a year now, and nobody is saying that HP wasn’t a troubled company, or that turning it around would be easy. But her future plans for the company sounded a bit vague on this week’s analyst call:
[W]hen we look at 2013, we’re going to tumble all of the pluses and the minuses. We’re going to put in the investments that we think are required, and yet we have to have a cost structure that allows us to win in the marketplace. So, we’ll have a crisp view of that by 2013.”
“Crisp view?” Is that oligarch-speak for “bumpy ride?”
If she does indeed know where she’s going, she’s doing a crappy job of communicating it — a critically important quality in someone who wanted a job inspiring confidence in voters. “Governor Meg” was a bullet well-dodged.