HP’s One-Year Plan
Let’s say you were given a year to kill Hewlett-Packard. Here’s how you do it:
Fire well-performing CEO Mark Hurd over expense-report irregularities and a juicy sexual-harassment claim that you admit has no merit. Fire four board members, as publicly as possible. Foment a mass exodus of key executives who actually know how to run the giant computer company.
Hire a new CEO from German competitor, SAP, which sells business software, not consumer products. Tell the new CEO, Leo Apotheker, that Mr. Hurd “left H-P in great shape.”
Draw public criticism from a major corporate-governance advisory firm, alleging Mr. Apotheker filled board openings with cronies.