You know how it is with blind dates. Sometimes it seems like you were meant for each other. Sometimes you start planning your exit strategy before the salad course is over. (Faking an epileptic fit has always worked for me.)
So it goes with HP, which hired Léo Apotheker on the rebound after the Mark Hurd scandal, virtually sight unseen, but came to regret it within less than a year. Now it's hooked up with the nice-if-unexciting girl next door (minus the nice part).
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Meg Whitman, unsuccessful in her attempts last year to gain entry into California's crazily mismanaged sex-scandalized governor's mansion, now gets the keys to HP's crazily mismanaged sex-scandalized boardroom.
The good news? HP doesn't care if she hired an illegal for a housekeeper. Also, the odds of Whitman having a former softcore porn actress turned marketing babe on the payroll as a secret paramour? Not very high.
Welcome to the wacky world of HP, where you too could become CEO -- and given enough time, you just might.
Just a few weeks ago, HP seemed to be headed down a safe, steady, if boring road, becoming an enterprise services company like IBM. Now everything is up in the air. HP may actually decide to keep its PC business going after all. If it does, is there any reason to not resurrect WebOS and the HP TouchPad?
But the decision to go with Whitman is not getting a lot of love on the tech side of the table. InfoWorld's Ted Samson notes that Whitman combines the charm of a Larry Ellison with the market savvy of a Steve Ballmer (though less hairy or sweaty than either), making her a less than apt choice for pulling HP out of its doldrums. IFW's Bill Snyder predicts that nothing at HP will change -- which you have to see as more bad news for the struggling tech giant.