Whitman, HP Literally Following RIM's Death Spiral
Not "riveting" because of anything Whitman said, but compelling because of the people asking the questions.
In early October, I discussed the first Whitman interview, conducted by David Faber, Jim Cramer and Melissa Lee in HP's Meg Whitman: Setting New Lows in CEO Incompetence:
The performance was beyond abysmal. Other than saying what amounts to "trust us," she offered absolutely no reason why anybody in his or her right mind should buy HPQ stock.
Whitman defended the printing business in October. Printing revenue was down 5% year-over-year with total enterprise and consumer hardware units down double digits.
Tuesday morning on CNBC, Whitman "only" had Faber to deal with.
Once again, he challenged Whitman repeatedly, focusing on the near-dead printing space. Meg, Faber yelped, people are carrying around mobile devices, maybe they don't need printers. So are you managing a dying business?
Meg responded with an equally-as-weak version of her October answer:
We are seeing actually increases in enterprise printing and we've got some very interesting products coming up in the consumer space.
Like TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia said, HPQ is LOL.
Whitman kept spewing the adjectives "interesting," "terrific" and "great," generally in relation to forthcoming HP "products," during her 15-minute interview with Faber.
That's not insignificant. She has stepped up the say-nothing, evade-the-question, bad politician tactics she used on CNBC back in October. No matter how many times Faber, Cramer and Lee phrased the tough questions, she came back with the same non-answers.
Nothing has changed since October, except one critically important thing to watch. And it's got little, if anything, to do with the Autonomy disaster.