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Showing posts from May, 2012

Too Big?

Fortune's article on HP's downward spiral is entirely too long and occasionally naive - but all in all, it is gripping. (See Forbes: How HP Lost Its Way: The Inside Story.) I cannot attest to the degree its true because - and I know this comes as an enormous shock - I didn't work directly with Mark Hurd when I was there. What I do recall from my two years at HP is the bad behavior that comes with cuts that are issued sans strategie and go too deep. It's unfortunate the spiral has continued for so long because HP - at least the services division - is stacked with enormous talent. I would like to see HP succeed for their benefit - and because I enjoy the competition between the big players. They're not too big to fail - nor are they too big to succeed. HP would have an exceptional value proposition (the market leader in providing a full end-to-end spectrum of integrated hardware, software and services solutions) if only they could stop tripping over themselves.


CEOs win every time...

The New York Times posted an article tonight with a photo of JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon looking rather pensive and heavy-hearted (See NYT: JP Morgan's Trading Loss is Said to Rise 50%). It got me thinking about the value a CEO really brings to the helm of a large corporation.

I worked for a company years ago that hired a CEO because he was "turnkey"(I'm just using the word of choice from all the press releases) thus promising to steer us in the right direction as he had with his previous employer. He came in with a whirlwind of half-baked awkward changes, pressed for signature on a really large and entirely unprofitable contract, and saw the stock price plummet before leaving with $35 million in severance.

It raise a question: What do we pay CEOs to do that is so magical no one else can do it? Or do it for less? We're such sticklers for corporate austerity - with this one glaring exception.

A recent Forbes article asks the same question (See Forbes: Shareholders R…