Thursday, November 22, 2012
HP's announcement of a $8.8 billion write-down of last year's acquisition is one more spike into its reputation as a well-managed business. Analysts and investors are asking if HP's leaders can do anything right. The pressure on CEO Meg Whitman has increased and skepticism abounds. HP is not the only electronics company to face criticism. Sony also is in the dump and struggling to find a path, any path, out of it. Both are formerly great companies that have been unable to maintain competitiveness. It is notable that in the 1990s, another electronics company fell to the bottom and only though great leadership came back. That corporation is IBM. Neither HP nor Sony are destined to go out of business, but their boards and their CEOs must make the changes necessary for them to return to health. It won't be easy. The marketplace is accelerating change and leaving them farther behind. From a PR perspective, the companies are already after-thoughts -- and that is sad.