This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

5 Reasons Meg Whitman Can't Fix HP

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( InvestorPlace) -- Shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are soaring as much as 10% today on rumors that the tech giant's board could be kicking Chief Executive Leo Apotheker to the curb. His replacement allegedly is former eBay (EBAY) CEO Meg Whitman.

But don't be fooled -- this is just the latest dumb move at Hewlett-Packard, a stock plagued not just by a revolving door in the corner office but by a glue-and-sticky-tape approach to its current ugly state of affairs.

I won't bore you with a laundry list of HP missteps during the past few years -- they are many, and well-known. (I previously wrote an exhaustive column about how Hewlett-Packard embodies everything that's wrong with corporate America, for those who want an in-depth look at this dumpster fire of a company.)

That's all in the past. What is most troubling is that, after almost $30 billion in buyouts since 2008 ($10 billion for Autonomy + $1.2 billion for Palm + $2.7 billion for 3Par + $2.35 for 3Com + $13.6 billion for Electronic data systems), there is much more corporate shenanigans going on than there is growth to manage.

Also see: 5 Businesses That Will Suffer From a Post Office Overhaul

Meaning that even if you want to give Whitman the benefit of the doubt and grant her 100% credit for the success of eBay, the Hewlett-Packard mess is just too different a situation for her to be a good fit.

Here are five reasons Whitman won't be able to fix Hewlett-Packard:

No Corporate IT Experience: Whitman's tenure at eBay was fundamentally defined by connecting with consumers. Even the "sellers" on the auction site are largely average Joes and tiny out-of-the-garage businesses. Before that, she worked at Hasbro (HAS) to market Playskool and Mr. Potato Head. That's a far cry from cloud computing, tech support, networking hardware and bulk computer sales to Fortune 500 companies. On the plus side, her consumer focus might be able to help prop up HP printer and laptop sales -- with Hewlett-Packard killing its TouchPad tablet amid the Apple (AAPL) iPad craze and planning to spin off its PC business. It might make sense to appoint Meg Whitman CEO of this smaller consumer-focused division, but it makes no sense to appoint her now. She is ill suited for the very Big Business nature of corporate IT sales, which is HP's core business.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs