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商业 - 科技

惠普CEO将换帅?eBay前掌门或取代李艾科

James Bandler, Matt Vella 2011年09月22日

麻烦缠身的科技行业巨头惠普公司正在酝酿高层大换血,计划由eBay前任老板梅格•惠特曼取代现任CEO李艾科。

    
李艾科

    据知情人士透露,惠普公司(Hewlett-Packard)董事会正在酝酿高层大换血,其中一项方案是由eBay前任老板梅格•惠特曼接替上任不足一年的李艾科,出任惠普公司CEO。惠特曼目前是惠普公司董事,以及凯鹏华盈投资公司(Kleiner Perkins)的战略顾问。

    目前的形势并不明朗:惠普董事会将在今天下午召开会议。但惠普公司发言人拒绝对此事发表任何评论。消息传出后,惠普公司股票上涨近8%,升至24.24美元。

    目前正值惠普的关键时期。惠普公司一直在艰难地摸索未来的发展方向。8月中旬,公司宣布对业务进行大幅战略调整,包括以103亿美元价格收购软件公司Autonomy Corp.,撤销TouchPad平板电脑业务,并决定出售或剥离硬件部门。换句话说,此次调整计划将剥离2002年并购的康柏电脑(Compaq Computer)业务。虽然该并购当时备受争议,却帮助惠普一跃成为科技行业的巨头。

    李艾科从2010年11月份上任以来一直饱受诟病。惠普宣布最新调整计划仅仅5个月之前,他还在吹捧公司的WebOS平板电脑操作系统,信誓旦旦地宣称将在每一台惠普电脑上安装WebOS系统,并广泛地扩展到手机和平板电脑。但8月份,他却突然变脸,宣布终止惠普TouchPad平板电脑业务,并在实质上放弃了WebOS。去年,惠普以12亿美元的价格收购奔迈公司(Palm),自此将WebOS业务揽入怀中。

    或许李艾科过往的履历已经为他在惠普的所作所为埋下了伏笔。惠普董事会让这位德国软件业巨头SAP的前任CEO接管公司,实际上是让一位专注企业软件的高管直接进入低利润的个人电脑行业,而且还要冒巨大的风险,在智能手机与平板电脑领域与苹果公司(Apple)展开厮杀。由于个人电脑销量下降,而平板电脑又毫无起色,李艾科不得不放弃这两项业务。

    而惠特曼又能为惠普带来什么?现年55岁的惠特曼长期在硅谷打拼,是一位经验丰富的高管,而且她在今年年初成为惠普公司董事,对公司也非常了解。惠特曼曾在贝恩公司(Bain & Co.)、迪士尼(Disney)、宝洁公司(Procter & Gamble)和孩之宝公司(Hasbro)任职,并在1998年至2008年期间,一直担任eBay公司总裁兼CEO。最初,eBay只是一家仅有30名员工,收入仅为470万美元的小型电子商务初创公司,后来之所以能够成为拥有15,000名员工,收入约80亿美元的行业巨头,惠特曼居功至伟。【惠特曼曾入选2004年与2005年《财富》最具影响力商界女性(Fortune's Most Powerful Woman in Business)榜单。】她后来离开了eBay,加入了竞选加利福尼亚州州长一职的激烈竞争,但最终未能如愿胜出。

    惠普董事会面临巨大的压力,必须扭转当前的局势。在今天的消息传出之前,公司股价从今年伊始便持续下跌,跌幅超过40%。2010年,惠普公司因前任CEO马克•赫德与公司一名承包商传出桃色丑闻,选择与其分道扬镳,此举遭到外界的广泛指责。【赫德目前是甲骨文公司(Oracle)的联席总裁。】李艾科在SAP仅仅担任了十个月CEO,现在看来,他的这次任期注定又将创下新的纪录。当时,李艾科与德国工会发生冲突,而公司收入又出现下滑,因而从SAP辞职。看来,惠普今天召开董事会时,首先得把公司之前的一连串 “昏招”牢记在心,以此作为前车之鉴。

    译者:刘进龙/乔树静

    Hewlett-Packard's board is weighing a shakeup that would include replacing its current CEO Leo Apotheker after barely a year on the job, according to a person familiar with the matter. The troubled technology giant plans to offer the top spot to former eBay boss Meg Whitman. Whitman is a current HP director and a strategic advisor at Kleiner Perkins.

    The situation appears to be fluid; HP's (HPQ) board plans to meet this afternoon. When reached for comment, an HP spokesperson decline to say anything about the matter. HP's stock jumped on the news, up around 8% to 24.24.

    The move would come at a pivotal time for HP, which has struggled to find a path forward. In mid-August, the company announced a vast planned overhaul of its business, agreeing to buy software maker Autonomy Corp. for $10.3 billion, canceling its TouchPad tablet and deciding whether to sell or spin-off its hardware division. The plan, in other words, called for the unraveling of the much-debated 2002 merger with Compaq Computer that helped turn HP into a technology behemoth.

    Since taking over in November 2010, Apotheker has faced his share of reversals. A mere five months before announcing the latest plan, he had touted the company's WebOS tablet operating system and promised it would ship with every Hewlett-Packard computer as well as a robust line of phones and tablet computers. In August, he pulled an abrupt about-face, announcing the cancellation of HP's TouchPad tablet and the effective discontinuation of WebOS, which it got as part of a $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm last year.

    Such moves might have been expected given Apotheker's resume. In putting the former CEO of German software giant SAP (SAP) in charge, HP's board effectively asked an executive with enterprise software expertise to go toe-to-toe in the low-margin PC business, not to mention a high-risk play to outflank Apple (AAPL) in smartphones and tablets. Apotheker's moves to divest in both businesses came when PC sales slowed and the tablet failed to catch on.

    What would HP get in Whitman? A seasoned executive with a long history in Silicon Valley -- not to mention one familiar with the company. Whitman, 55, has been an HP director since early this year. After stints at Bain & Co., Disney (DIS), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Hasbro (HAS), Whitman was eBay's president and CEO from 1998 until 2008. She transformed the tiny e-commerce startup with just 30 employees and $4.7 million in revenue into a giant with some 15,000 employees and almost $8 billion in revenue. (Whitman was Fortune's Most Powerful Woman in Business in 2004 and 2005.) She eventually left, making a hard-fought but failed bid to become California's governor.

    Pressure is mounting on HP's board to get something right. Before today's news, its stock has been hammered, down over 40% from the beginning of the year. HP was widely criticized over the 2010 departure of former CEO Mark Hurd amid a scandal involving a personal relationship with a company contractor. (Hurd is a co-president at Oracle (ORCL).) Now, Apotheker's tenure looks slated to barely outlast his 10-month run as CEO of SAP, which ended amid clashes with German unions and declines in revenue. As the board meets, HP's long string missteps is surely foremost in mind.

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