From DailyTech: When Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) hired Léo Apotheker as its new CEO shortly after his firing from SAP AG (ETR:SAP) and cost his former employer $1B USD for allowing the theft of code from rival Oracle Corp. (ORCL), we warned that a rocky road could be ahead for the veteran PC maker. Sure enough, Mr. Apotheker lived up to the miserable expectations his history would suggest, punching his ticket to a second firing in just a year. Unfortunately that did not save HP from a sordid mess of missed financial targets and crackpot schemes such as Mr. Apotheker's plan to sell HP's core personal computer business.
Under the new leadership of former eBay, Inc. (EBAY) chief executive Meg Whitman, HP has slowly worked to unwind those plans and recover financially.
HP's recovery hit an expected bump in the road when it was forced to write off $10.8B USD from its acquisition of Plano, Texas-based Electronic Data Systems (EDS), a top information technology equipment company acquired during the Mark Hurd era for $13.9B USD.
The EDS hit is attributable to a variety of factors -- demand weakness in the IT sector, underlying structural issues at EDS, and the recent global recession. But a part of the failure is also arguably attributable to Mr. Apotheker's poor management which left the branded HP Enterprise Services struggling. HP is also moving away from the low-end corporate services that EDS specialized in.
With 300,000 employees, HP remains the world's largest maker of personal computers. But sliding revenue has forced the OEM to commit to the largest layoffs in its history. In its fiscal Q3 2012, it shed 4,000 jobs, part of 11,500 jobs it is expected to drop before the year's end.
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