Give Us One Good Reason Why HP Shouldn't Fire Meg Whitman

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!

The only thing HP doesn't do now that Whitman hinted at starting up? The wholly original idea of a smartphone because, of course, everybody else is doing it.

This puts her in the same class as a couple of guys who started this once-great, now-bloated company from scratch in a freaking Silicon Valley garage? Did Andreessen provide that quote (see the first paragraph of this article) with a straight face?

I just want to know why. That's all.

Why does Andreessen have so much confidence in Whitman? Will HP's underwater board members double down and buy more stock? Do rank-and-file, bruised-and-battered retail investors -- either already crushed by HPQ or preparing to get sucked into it as a "value" play -- deserve something better than this vague, just-trust-us propaganda?

We should demand more from a company as iconic as Hewlett Packard and a CEO who apparently ranks with two of the all-time greats. Give us a peek into a future we cannot write. That's the CEO's job, particularly in modern-day tech. You've got to be more than Mrs. Fix-It; give us some vision.

People would call her insane, but I would rather Whitman tell us HP plans to squeeze whatever water is left from its existing core of breaking rocks and, as these businesses continue to die, she will lead the charge to build a brand new operating system.

Nobody ever envisioned a time when Internet Explorer's dominance would cease. Now just look at Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Create this new OS, make it sing, build out some hardware on it and license it to companies, such as Amazon.com ( AMZN) who have no choice but to poorly adapt Android for their needs.

That's just a thought to bounce off of you over a beer. Don't quote as saying HP should create a new operating system. All I'm saying is that, unless Meg has some grand plan she's keeping secret, there's nothing happening there that warrants her keeping her job.

I would have a lot more respect for actual risk-taking, even if it didn't pan out. Because what we know HP is doing has no chance at success.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

If you liked this article you might like

What to Watch From Samsung, Google and Others at the Mobile World Congress

What to Watch From Samsung, Google and Others at the Mobile World Congress

Jim Cramer: Today Is Not Just About VIX, It Is About COMPANIES!

Jim Cramer: Today Is Not Just About VIX, It Is About COMPANIES!

Apple Could Get to Zero Net Cash This Way, Says UBS

Apple Could Get to Zero Net Cash This Way, Says UBS

Carl Icahn Urges Xerox Shareholders to Block Fuji Deal

Carl Icahn Urges Xerox Shareholders to Block Fuji Deal

Intermediate Trade: HP Inc.

Intermediate Trade: HP Inc.