The largest technology vendor, HP gets less than 4 pages in my 400 page book on technology innovations. And almost 3 of those pages are about Cartridge World and Cisco and Oracle which are challenging HP’s bread and butter printer and data center markets.
Yes, history will record that HP shares rose 136% under Mark Hurd’s watch. It will also record that HP released little in the way of breakthrough innovation and ended up with beaten up assets in EDS, Mercury and several of its acquisitions. It will also note this blog repeatedly asked why so called data center consolidation efficiencies HP internally claimed never made it to more than a few showcased clients and why ounce for ounce, printer ink is way more pricey than the swankiest perfume or champagne.
So, the Hurd era rightfully ends with the board taking 5 weeks to decide how to spin the departure news, and the press release announcing the departure spending as much space assuring the world the company is financially healthy as discussing the cloudy circumstances of his exit.
Healthy? The board really, really needs to take a good hard look at the company’s labs, the customer satisfaction metrics and competitive landscape. For too long it has accepted shareholder value as a proxy for too many innovation and customer value metrics.