Photo: Bloomberg West
HP’s Executive Chairman Ray Lane says he took on a bigger day-to-day role at HP even though his partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers didn’t want him to.He told the story of how he went from chairman to executive chairman during the OnDemand 2012 conference held this week in Cupertino, reports eWeek.
Lane said he “provoked” Meg Whitman into taking the CEO job and that Whitman begged Lane to help her because she didn’t know as much about software, services and the enterprise as he did.
“I talked to my partners [at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers] and they didn’t like the idea, but I said, ‘You know what, this is a really good idea. I will do whatever will support Meg.’ Whether it’s 10 per cent or 30 per cent of my time—I gave her a cap. I said I’ll do anything you ask me to do, but I’ll also provide some advice you didn’t ask for as well. And I think it’s worked out well,” Lane told eWeek.
The jury is still out on if it working. Employees are disturbed that the company has not cultivated many home-grown leaders in the decade since Carly Fiorina lead, and worry that HP has lost its “HP Way.” HP was the Valley’s original “do no evil” company. Investors aren’t convinced either. HP’s stock has been trading in the mid $20s, falling steadily from the low $50s over the last two years.
Lane himself was an outsider to HP when he hired Whitman. He had only been on the HP board for about a year. When Whitman became CEO, Lane became executive chairman and got a pretty sweet compensation deal. While total compensation for other board members topped out at about $350,000, Lane was paid $10.6 million in 2011, including $8.4 million in stock awards and nearly $2.2 million in options.
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