WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- Meg Whitman, the Queen of Mellow? Professional dramaphobe? That's what you might believe after digesting coverage of Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) - Get Report earnings, released Monday.
They were terrible--no surprise--but what jumped out at keen observers was new CEO Meg Whitman throwing down the gauntlet of calm. HP, she said, had to become less prone to all manner of drama.
No one can argue with that sentiment. HP has been a high-drama mess. To right itself, it needs to change: cool the intrigue, the high profile fights, scandals and defections. But is Whitman qualified to lead the company into a mellower future?
Like most, Bloomberg does not answer--or, worse, even ask--the question. They merely pass along Whitman's promise to turn HP down a calmer path. From the headline on, "HP Whitman Aims to Rebuild Company After Years of Drama."
Soon, she is promising to reduce `drama.' HP, she is quoted saying, `"is getting back to business fundamentals in 2012. No more surprises."' Sounds like a plan. Though Bloomberg avoids the obvious question. Is Whitman a calming influence? It is, of course, possible...but history tells us otherwise.
This is a CEO turned attention seeking politician, who recently engaged in a messy fight for the California governorship, during which it was revealed she hadn't registered to vote until she was 46. She donated a building to Princeton, where her son enrolled and a trail of high-profile spats and accusations followed. At
, her Skype acquisition was high-drama and no mention of Whitman's calming influence can end without touching upon that time she shoved her spokeswoman during an interview. That's right: she shoved her subordinate.
A force for calm? Well, anything can happen, I suppose.
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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