HP‘s CEO Meg Whitman extolled HP’s past successes, and promised great things for the future, while glossing over the tech giant’s present difficulties, in a keynote for HP Discover which made much of the company’s 75 year history.
The company is executing increasing redundancies in a turnaround plan – but Whitman’s only reference to its performance was a mention of recent positive quarterly results. Solid tech prospects and a return t0 HP’s roots was what she was in Las Vegas to talk about on Tuesday, and what an audience of several thousand HP customers and partners wanted to hear.
This was not a barnstorming performance, but that’s what the HP faithful want. After three CEOs who were each disastrous in their different ways, they want someone who is not going surprise them.
Whitman listed HP’s achievements since Hewlett and Packard founded it in a garage in 1939, with an impressive array of firsts, including pocket calculators and RISC processors and blades.
She also claimed some firsts by acquisition, including Compaq’s creation of the x86 standard server market.
Then she handed over to lieutenants such a Bill Veghte to lay out the big announcements from the Discover event.
The only glamour in the whole performance was from storage chief David Scott, who commanded bursts of lightning every time he used the word “Flash” predicting it would displace hard drives.
Industry veteran Robert Youngjohns, vice president of software, predicted a growth in analytics, as both machine generated data and human generated unstructured data overtake the volumes of traditional business data in organisations. HP’s HAVEn strategy (Hadop, Autonomy, Vertica, Enterprise Security for n applications) was the only mention of HP’s troubled acquisition of Autonomy, another blot on HP’s landscape.
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