Meg Whitman: HP's Surprise Turnaround Star
Whereas her predecessor left investors scratching their heads about HP's strategic direction, Whitman has cut a decisive figure. Last year, for example, the CEO opted to open source the acclaimed webOS operating system, seen as a shrewd bid to resurrect webOS technology. More recently, she took the bold move of merging the company's PC and printer divisions in an attempt to combat falling hardware sales.
Whitman is also willing to make tough personnel decisions, as evidenced by this week's announcement that the Dow component is cutting 27,000 jobs, 8% of its total workforce.
"We're introducing a lot of change, which is absolutely necessary to turn HP round," she explained, during a CNBC interview on Thursday. "We have a clear, focused strategy for the company, we have a clear, focused strategy for each of our operating groups."
Key areas of focus include the company's HP's under-performing printer business and the Autonomy software acquisition, which needs to scale up, according to the CEO.
Whitman, who can often be seen eating lunch amongst employees at the cafeteria in HP's HQ, has also performed well during public appearances. On TV, in particular, the HP leader has come across as composed and totally in control of the company's revamp.