From the Archives: H-P's Stock Could Use a Parting Gift

Jim Cramer wrote in January about the possible effects of a Carly Fiorina farewell.
Author:
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This column originally ran Jan. 18 on RealMoney.com

Scott Livengood's worth 10% of upside for

Krispy Kreme

(KKD)

when he

hits the exit. Gene Kahn's worth 15% to

May

(MAY)

when he gets

pushed onto the exit ramp.

Who else could make you money by departing?

OK, you want to know the truth? You want to know who could make you pretty decent money by going off to head the World Bank or the United Nations or the FBI, for that matter -- don't they have computer problems?

Hewlett-Packard's

(HPQ) - Get Report

Carly Fiorina.

Ouch, hurts to write that. I was a big backer of Fiorina's at one time because I thought she could make this merger work and make it come alive. But the people I really respected at both companies now have fled and Fiorina has alienated just about every constituency out there that matters.

Hewlett-Packard seems to want to be many different things. It seems to want to take on

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

and then not take on Dell, to be a computer company and then be a printer company, to be a software company and then de-emphasize software. It wants to be a consulting company and then not be a consultant company. It wants to make big money and then it wants to go for share. It's willing to lose money in PCs and then it isn't. (And Fiorina could have bought

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

, not Compaq!)

Make up your darned mind!

I don't think Fiorina's going anywhere. She's spending fortunes getting her face around on the new-new strategy.

But there is no doubt in my mind that if Fiorina

were

to hit the exit, we'd see $22 even if some nobody-I-know-type got the job.

Tough judgment, I know, and certainly a mean one. But I made it about Livengood last week and the stock is ramping. I didn't even know how bad this Kahn was.

Hewlett-Packard's stock? Don't hold your breath, but it could go higher with a stroke of a pen.

Random musings:

He's not on the same order as Fiorina, but if Kevin Kennedy would give up at

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

, we could see $3. He's completely not in charge. Nobody is.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long JDS Uniphase.

James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made.

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