NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Although I think pretty much anyone who could have qualified for a Countrywide no document, no income loan in 2005 could do a better job running HP (HPQ) than Leo Apotheker, there are five important things HP should remember about Meg Whitman -- things she'd likely want everyone to forget (or not know about):
1. She's never run a big company like HP. Whitman has only ever run eBay (EBAY) which had less than 100 people when she started it. Before that, she worked at Hasbro and Bain. She led eBay to success. But, let's face it, it was eBay. Leo Apotheker could have been CEO and the company would have succeeded.
2. When she ran eBay as a big company, it was horrible. Once eBay actually got to be a big company, Whitman checked out. That's when she started taking trips to Hawaii on the eBay corporate jet and joining a bunch of other corporate boards (like Goldman Sachs (GS) and Procter & Gamble (PG)) so she could network for her next job.3. She loves high compensation and lots of perks. Whitman is a fan of high pay and perks for negative stock performance. Look at her last three years at eBay. 4. She doesn't really have any relevant experience. A hardware, software and services company is a lot different from a consumer Internet company. Ask Carol Bartz how easy it was for her to go from enterprise/hardware to consumer Internet at Yahoo! (YHOO). 5. She's only been on the HP board for eight months. She doesn't know this company yet, on top of her lack of industry experience. She's going in blind. On top of this, Whitman has one of the worst boards in America (second only behind Yahoo!) overseeing her. Don't expect too much help from them. Whitman is most probably going to be a better CEO than Apotheker, and HP's stock is going to go up in the short term. But she is not going to walk on water. If she pulls a Bartz and overestimates her own industry knowledge by making bold and dumb strategic moves, she could even make the situation worse. But for today, the anti-Leo relief rally in HP shares will continue.
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