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

The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: The All-HP Edition

5. Whitman Channels Obama -- Originally published on Oct. 5, 2012

Why shouldn't Meg Whitman blame the previous administration for her economic problems?

If it's working for President Obama in his race against Mitt Romney, then it may help her keep her job as well.

The Hewlett Packard CEO, who took the top job last year after a failed run for the California governorship, pointed the finger at her predecessors for the company's recent failings at an investor conference on Wednesday. Whitman told the crowd that HP's excessive turnover in the corner office -- three CEOs in the past three years -- is preventing a quicker turnaround for the troubled tech giant.

Whitman also lowered the company's profit projections for fiscal 2013 to $3.40 to $3.60 per share. The Street had already penciled in earnings of $4.17 per share. Shares of HP sank 13% to $15 on her buck-passing.

"My belief is that the single biggest challenge facing Hewlett-Packard has been changes in CEOs and executive leadership, which has caused multiple inconsistent strategic choices and frankly some significant executional miscues," Whitman told the crowd. "This is important because as a result it is going to take longer to right this ship than any of us would like."

So how does Captain Meg plan to turn the ship around?

Well, unlike President Obama and the national economy, she is actually counting on widespread lay-offs to help resuscitate HP's fortunes. The company is already in the process of canning 29,000 employees over the next two years to get costs into line with slowing corporate spending and plummeting PC demand.

Hmmm. We wonder what Governor Whitman would have said to HP CEO Whitman about all those lay-offs had she won that political race. Luckily (or perhaps unluckily) HP CEO Whitman will never be forced to answer that question.

So when will Whitman -- who last year at her inauguration pronounced "I believe HP matters -- it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world" -- get things at HP moving again?

"Fiscal year 2015 will be the year of acceleration," said Whitman. "Revenues should be growing faster than cost."

2015 huh? At this rate that's still pretty ambitious Meg.

Maybe you should ask for four more years.

2 of 6

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