HP: 'We're dumping PCs. No wait!'
Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest PC maker, confounded the tech world in August by announcing that it planned to dump its PC business. The company instead wanted to focus on software, which currently accounts for just 3% of HP's sales. Industry analysts reacted with a collective "What!?" -- and, soon after, so did HP's board.
In September, the board fired CEO Leo Apotheker, the plan's architect. One month later, HP reversed course and announced that it would keep its PC business after all.
Perhaps the debacle could have been avoided if the board did its homework. It hired Apotheker after only a few of the company's directors even met him, the New York Times recently revealed.
It's yet another reason why HP's board is widely considered one of the worst in corporate America. As Ironfire Capital founder Eric Jackson put it: "These guys are a bunch of clowns, surpassed in incompetence only by Yahoo's board." -- David Goldman