While it was Leo Apotheker, who kicked off major changes at Hewlett-Packard and triggered to spin-off or sell the personal systems group (PSG), it looks like it is Meg Whitman, who is the real changer of the company. The changes coming are so dramatic that HP lost two high ranking executives in less than one week.
On the 20th of October, 2011, HP said that Shane Robison would retire as executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer effective November 1. Mr. Robison, an 11-year HP veteran, also served as a member of the company’s executive council. In his role, he was responsible for shaping HP’s corporate strategy and technology agenda. He was instrumental in steering the company’s multibillion-dollar research and development investment and has led many of the company’s largest merger and acquisition activities.
On Tuesday, the 25th of October, 2011, it transpired that Richard Kerris, vice president of worldwide developer relations for webOS, has decided to leave HP to pursue an opportunity outside of the company.
Both executives were among those who either defined the future of HP (like Mr. Robison, who was very instrumental in HP-Compaq deal) or was supposed to define it by helping to design the software developers community around webOS.
With the departure of Mr. Robison it is clear that HP wants to change its strategy and tactics going forward and with step down of Mr. Kerris means that this is the end for webOS at HP.
Although just two people cannot change a company of HP size overnight, it is pretty certain that HP is changing its approach to business and the retirement of two executives reflects changes, not conditions them. HP is about to announce the final decision concerning PC business, but it will take several month for the company to form its new strategy and start executing it. Hence, in several quarters time the world will see the all-new HP.