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HP's Whitman Says She'll Continue With Her Predecessor's Strategies

Former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was chosen to take over at Hewlett-Packard
Tom Pennington
Getty Images
Former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was chosen to take over at Hewlett-Packard

After Hewlett-Packard announced that it was replacing its CEO with Meg Whitman, lots of talk erupted about the state of the technology behemoth.

Most of it wasn't pretty. Perhaps NPR's Richard Gonzales got the most succinct analysis of the situation from Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, who called HP "a clown without a circus, a tragicomedy."

In her first interview since getting the CEO job, Whitman told Bloomberg she would stay the course and continue the strategies laid out by her predecessor. As we reported yesterday, under Leo Apotheker HP made two huge announcements that confounded some critics: First he announced HP would halt the sales of tablet computers and smartphones and then he announced HP would rethink whether it wants to be in the consumer PC market. The latter is one of the things that HP is renowned for.

Bloomberg reports on its interview with Whitman:

Whitman, in her first interview as Hewlett-Packard's CEO, said the company stands by plans to acquire U.K. software marker Autonomy Corp. for $10.3 billion. The company also will continue to explore whether to sell or spin off the personal-computer division, she said. Those moves were announced on Aug. 18.

"It does not signal a change in the strategy," Whitman said yesterday of her appointment. "We are behind the actions that were taken on Aug. 18. We are firmly committed to Autonomy."

Whitman also said the company would make a decision "as fast as we possibly can" on the outcome of the PC business.

"We understand uncertainty doesn't help the business, doesn't help customers, doesn't help shareholders," she said.

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.