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HP exec on life after Carly

HP exec on life after Carly

If Hewlett-Packard Co. could clone IBM Corp.'s former CEO Lou Gerstner, the beleaguered company would have the leader it needs after Carly Fiorina's ejection as CEO and chairman earlier this month.

If Hewlett-Packard Co. could clone IBM Corp.'s former CEO Lou Gerstner, the beleaguered company would have the leader it needs after Carly Fiorina's ejection as CEO and chairman earlier this month. "We want strong operational leadership and hands-on execution capability," HP Executive Vice President Mike Winkler told investors at a Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium in Phoenix. "When Lou Gerstner came to IBM under stress, IBM was in a real shambles -- it was in a lot worse shape than HP is in now. A similar leader such as that is most important for HP," he said.

Winkler, who is in charge of all of HP's field sales operations and serves as the company's chief marketing officer, also told investors they can expect HP to continue sending more and more IT jobs offshore to India, China and other low-cost locations. Currently, the company has 12,000 employees working offshore.

"We're significantly reducing the cost of [providing] maintenance and managed services with offshoring," he told investors at the event.

As for a technology road map, Winkler emphasized HP's commitment to Intel Corp.'s Itanium as its platform of choice, noting that Itanium now runs some 3,000 software applications, a number expected to grow to 4,500 by the end of this year. He also noted that HP has earmarked US$3 billion for future development of Itanium during the next few years.

Winkler also noted that HP-UX is "the single Unix factor we have. We don't have to support lots of other products and attendant software." He acknowledged, however, that the Unix market is in decline and that IBM is getting a bigger share of it.

Commenting on HP's storage business -- once considered a crown jewel for the company -- Winkler conceded that HP's recent difficulties were all "self-inflicted" problems.

"We missed refreshes on the product, and we messed up the go-to-market equation when we let storage specialists go and hired generalists" to sell storage products, he said. HP is now turning that around, hiring more storage specialists to sell the product line.

HP also will come out with a storage product refresh in May, he said.

In the second half of this year, Winkler predicted that HP "will have a significantly improved storage business." -- Computerworld (US online)

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