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当务之急:惠普掌门新官上任5把火

JP Mangalindan 2011年09月27日

她是一位经验丰富的高管。但是,运营电子商务公司eBay和世界上最大、最复杂的科技公司这两者之间有着巨大差异。本文阐述的是她上任首日就必需采取的5大举措。

    首席执行官可不是件容易的差事。如果要掌管的是一家对未来并没有清晰规划的大型公司,那就更艰难了。惠普公司(HP)的李艾科上任一年不到就遭到驱逐,将CEO宝座拱手让给梅格•惠特曼,其中甘苦他应该深有体会。

    惠普公司一路走来坎坷不断。自李艾科执掌大权并大刀阔斧推行改革以来,公司股价已下挫47%。他的举措包括:砍掉新近上马的一条移动设备生产线,将网络操作系统(WebOS)打入冷宫,并宣布可能剥离个人服务集团(Personal Services Group)。与此同时,他宣布斥资103亿美元收购英国管理软件公司Autonomy,这一决定则让大家感到震惊。惠普公司内部消息人士还告诉《财富》杂志(Fortune),李艾科因为不具备前任首席执行官马克・赫德那样的数字天赋而饱受折磨。因此,他的非正式员工支持率跌至25%也就不足为奇了。

    现在,所有难题都落到了惠特曼头上。公司召开电话会议宣布对她的任命时,董事会新任执行主席雷•莱恩称:“梅格在技术上具有远见卓识,她拥有可靠的管理资历。”也许吧。惠特曼作为惠普董事会的一员深知前路艰难——在升任首席执行官后首次接受科技博客All Things D的采访中,她对此坦承不讳。她说:“我下定决心,要让公司回到正轨。”如果她真想有机会兑现这番话,她就需要立即采取以下5大举措。

整顿PC业务

    上个月,惠普公布了一个举世震惊的消息,宣布可能会剥离或卖掉其销售PC硬件的个人系统集团。这个部门是惠普最大的营收来源之一,但也是利润最微薄的(它恰恰也是让惠普广为人知的一个部门)。莱恩称,公司不会卖掉这个部门,言下之意就是,如果剥离不可避免,惠普可能会将这一集团变为部分持股,独立运营的公司。在这一问题上,惠特曼似乎脚踩两只船,既对前任的战略表示支持,又说会对此举再做审视。这种表态不免让分析人士感到困惑。

    相关决策宜早不宜迟。如果惠普想要调整业务重点,像IBM公司IBM一样将企业用户及软件服务作为主要业务,那就得当机立断。

迅速处置Web OS资产

    It's not easy being CEO. That's especially true if you run a massive company that doesn't quite know what to do with itself. HP's Leo Apotheker learned the hard way when he was ousted to make room for Meg Whitman barely a year into the job.

    It's been a rough ride for HP (HPQ). The company's stock has tumbled as much as 47% since Apotheker took the reigns and effectively slashed and burned his way through the company, killing off a recently launched line of mobile devices, putting the WebOS operating system on ice and announcing the potential spin-off of the Personal Services Group. Meanwhile, a $10.3 billion decision to acquire British management software firm Autonomy raised plenty of eyebrows. Sources inside HP also told Fortune Apotheker suffered for not having former-CEO Mark V. Hurd's aptitude for numbers. It's no surprise his informal employee approval rating plummeted to just 25%.

    Now the job is all Whitman's. During the company's conference call announcing her appointment, new executive chairman Ray Lane said, "Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution." Perhaps. Whitman, an HP board member and director, knows the road ahead is a tough one -- she admitted as much during her first interview as CEO with All Things D. "I am resolved to restore it to its rightful place," she said. Here are 5 moves she needs to make right away if she wants to have a chance of making that the case.

Sort out the PC business.

    Last month, the company dropped a bombshell, announcing it might spin-off or sell its Personal Systems Group, which sells PC hardware. The division is one of HP's largest revenue sources, but also its least profitable. (It happens to be what most people know HP for as well.) Lane has said the company would not sell it off, insinuating that if a spin-off were to happen, HP might turn the group into a partially owned, independently operated company. Whitman seemed to be on both sides of the issue, expressing support for her predecessor's strategy but also saying she'd take a second look at the move. That left analysts totally confused.

    A decision should be made sooner rather than later. If HP wants to refine its focus, make enterprise and software services its bread and butter like IBM (IBM), get it over with.

Make a plan (for Web OS). Any plan.

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