眼前的例子就是：去年领导收购奔迈公司的执行副总裁托德•布拉德利的动向。据科技博客Boy Genius Report的一篇报道称，布拉德利认真考虑离职事宜已有数月之久。不管此事是否属实，失去像布拉德利这样的高管对惠普而言将是一次重大打击，尤其是在目前这个转折关头。显然，惠特曼对此心知肚明。
莱维克战略沟通公司（Levick Strategic Communications）位于华盛顿特区。该公司副总裁迈克尔•罗宾逊称：“就信任而言，惠普的‘银行’赤字十分严重。”实际上，在经历了众多乱局之后，惠普亟需的是能够赢得华尔街信任的领导班子。《财富》杂志首次报道李艾科被逐出惠普后，公司股价立刻急剧飙升，这对任何公司的管理层而言都不是好兆头。而据罗宾逊称，幸运的是，惠特曼在这一领域的公众形象帮了大忙。他说：“惠特曼的个人品牌非常优良。人们信任梅格•惠特曼，她的大名人尽皆知。而惠普则多多少少属于品牌效应不足。”
One of the worst casualties of Apotheker's aggressive plan to retool the company is WebOS, the critically acclaimed operating system HP inherited when it acquired Palm for $1.2 billion nearly a year ago. The discontinuation of WebOS devices like the Touchpad tablet and Veer phone puts its future in doubt. First, it was dead. Then came news that HP was debating partnerships and licensing options. Since then? Not a peep. "That asset is aging fast," says Forrester analyst Frank Gillett, who believes HP should have a clear story with where they're going with WebOS, even if it means a sale. "If it's going to have any value, they have to deal with it quick."
Get to know the employees.
"I have been on the board for eight months, but I really need to get in there and meet its people," Whitman has said. Gillett believes doing so is crucial to stem any potential company turmoil or morale issues among the company's nearly 325,000 employees. "The last thing she wants is any kind of exodus, a management or key skills exodus that would make her start more difficult," he says. Recruiters from competitors like Dell (DELL) and Oracle (ORCL) are already likely making calls.
Case in point: Executive Vice President Todd Bradley, who led the acquisition of Palm last year. According to a report from tech blog Boy Genius Report, Bradley has been mulling over his departure from the company for months. Whether that's true or not, losing an exec like Bradley would be a major blow for the company, particularly during this transition and, clearly, Whitman realizes that.
Bring back the trust.
"In terms of trust, HP's bank is in serious deficit," says Michael Robinson, a senior vice president of Levick Strategic Communications based in Washington, DC. Indeed, after so much turmoil what HP needs badly is leadership that Wall Street, in particular, feels it can trust. The stock jumped radically when Fortune first reporter news of Apotheker's ouster; that's a bad sign for any company's executive management. Luckily, Whitman's profile is a big help in this department, according to Robinson. "The Whitman brand is sterling," he says. "People trust Meg Whitman; hers is a name you know. HP has more or less been brandless."
Break with the past.
Finally, Whitman needs to make a clean break with the past. For years, HP has been plagued by stumble after stumble. Hotly debated mergers and acquisitions, executive scandals and reversals of strategy have worn on customers, employees and shareholders alike. Robinson argues that Whitman needs to find symbols of the troubled past and demonstrate how they will persist no more. "Breaking with the past requires [drawing] a real line in the sand to say that was then this now," he adds. What could Whitman find that might fit the bill? A few drama-free months might be a good start.