NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Venture cap legend and Hewlett Packard (HPQ) board member Marc Andreessen thinks Meg Whitman should keep her gig as CEO. Not only that, but Andreessen, via Business Insider, recently canonized her as "the best CEO since the founders."
Both Andreessen and Whitman served (both still do) on HP's board when it approved the failed Autonomy acquisition. It makes sense that they would stick together in the we're going on the offensive even though we're acting really defensive aftermath.
Setting Autonomy aside, where's the meat here?
Investors deserve more from a company that has lost 72% of its value over the last five years and 37% since it named Whitman CEO. HPQ not only takes retail slugs to the cleaners, it's fleecing insiders, particularly board members, as well.All I can assume is that these insiders -- Whitman, Andreessen and the rest of the HP board -- know something we don't. If that's the case, investors should be livid. Publicly, Meg Whitman does nothing to inspire the level of confidence Andreessen has in her. When asked why anybody should believe in the notion of a turnaround at HP, Whitman responds with language that brings back memories of Research in Motion's (RIMM) death spiral to irrelevancy. HP maintains it will hit its fiscal year guidance. RIM did this in 2011, using the same line as Whitman -- we have some really interesting, great and exciting products set to come out later in the year. When they hit, they'll drive sales. Backloaded earnings. Trust us! Whitman refuses to drop the dream of HP's printing business. She says she sees increased demand for enterprise printing. I would love for her to quantify it with some precision. Even RIM's former CEO Jim Balsillie was more precise when he claimed he received "extremely high interest" from "many corporate clients," who wanted "tens of thousands, several tens of thousands of [RIM's now-failed] Playbook" tablet. But, assuming demand for enterprise printing exists, fine, don't turn away business, just let us know what's next. Printing will not carry HP through the decade. The success of these interesting, great and exciting products, as far as I know, hinges on the fate of Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8 and the PC. Such a bold innovator this Meg is!
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