Leo Apotheker’s strategy to right the HP ship

Fri, Mar 11, 2011


Newly minted HP CEO Leo Apotheker has grand plans to re-align the company’s trajectory. One interesting item on the agenda includes a plan whereby every HP computer shipped in 2012 will come pre-loaded with both Windows 7 and WebOS. The move is aimed at attracting developers to create a wider breath of applications that will doubly help differentiate HP hardware from the rest of the pack.

“You create a massive platform,” Apotheker explained.” Too massive for its own good, perhaps.

The wisdom behind that strategy aside, Apotheker is also looking to refocus on the company’s engineering core and encouraging the sharing of technology amongst product groups.

Apotheker is giving engineers freer rein to pursue their own ideas, boosting the research and development budget, which was at $2.96 billion last year, and pushing HP’s product groups to share more technology among themselves.

While he toured HP printing operations in San Diego in December, he watched as two employees demonstrated a printing technology they developed on their own. He’s pushing them to turn the idea into a product. Apotheker is trying to break down walls among HP’s product groups that have prevented the company from creating more compelling products and shipping them to market faster.

Last year, HP adapted technology used in its inkjet printers to create seismic sensors that Royal Dutch Shell Plc can use to detect oil deposits. Apotheker says more of HP’s product groups should similarly share technology and ideas.

“You don’t mandate innovation,” he said. “People need to be a little more empowered in this place.”

A lot more in the full story over at BusinessWeek


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