This week, Meg Whitman defined herself by what she is not: Leo Apotheker. She won't be selling off HP's personal computer business, and it looks like HP might make another go in the tablet business.
Many in the media (like
The Associated Press
) played Whitman's breakaway from the recent past to the hilt. But any good trader knows that cutting from the past is the easy part. The central issue is what comes next.
was right to point to Nov. 21. That's when HP reports quarterly results. Traders will probably keep their powder dry until then, waiting for a more detailed plan.
For the media, the drama of one CEO supplanting another and reversing course is usually enough. But traders know that what Whitman announced was expected, and, moreover, restoring HP to what it was before Apotheker took over is no great shakes. It's not the answer. Apotheker did little but alienate, but H-P was reeling before he arrived.
The story of change is not over. In fact -- with apologies to some in the media -- the story of change at HP has not really even been told.
At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.
Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.
For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
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