HP has a “PC Addiction” that has put it in a “race to the bottom,” contends Jean-Louis Gassée, the former president of Apple’s Products Division and current general partner at VC firm Allegis Capital.In a blog post, Gassée said he’s not buying the company’s official excuse on why HP’s Personal Systems Group revenues were down 15% last quarter — that floods in Thailand created a hard disk shortage.
The floods didn’t seem to impact Dell which reported 3% year over year growth for desktop PCs. And it certainly didn’t hurt Apple “where the Mac business grew by more than 20%,” he points out.
All that aside, HP is still looking at a business that is generating only 5.2% operating profit. All the growth in the personal device sector is coming from the two areas where HP doesn’t play at all … tablets and smartphones.
Yet CEO Meg Whitman seems to be looking to Microsoft and Windows 8 to save it while also still subtly blaming her predecessor for the unit’s problems.
And that’s especially weird because, he points out, Whitman was on the HP board at the time then-CEO Leo Apotheker talked about selling the PC unit.
Gassée says that Meg Whitman’s tactic reminds him of the old envelope joke.
“The departing CEO meets his successor and hands him three envelopes to be opened in the prescribed order when trouble strikes. First crisis, the message in envelope #1 says: Blame your predecessor. Easy enough. Another storm, the the CEO opens the second envelope: Reorganize. Good idea. And when calamity strikes yet again, he reaches for the third: Get three envelopes…”
During the quarterly conference call, he said, Whitman ”opens the first envelope.” Instead, he thinks she should be looking for a buyer.
Do you agree?