Page 3 of 3
Soon after joining HP, Apotheker declared his intention to build HP's services and software capabilities. But HP's decision to bid $10.3 billion to acquire Autonomy, a developer of information management and infrastructure software, has triggered a near-revolt with investors who believe HP is grossly overpaying for the Cambridge, U.K.-based outfit.
Travis Fisher, executive vice president at Inacom Information Systems, a Salisbury, Md.-based solution provider, is baffled by the moves HP has made under Apotheker's watch.
"Between the PSG uncertainty putting channel partners on edge, failing to give the WebOS vision a chance to flourish, and the seemingly expensive purchase of Autonomy, I can’t say his reputation has improved in my mind," Fisher said. "And I must admit, I don’t have good feelings about HP’s board for their choice, either."
Other partners concurred with Fisher’s assessment of Apotheker’s 11 months at HP’s helm.
"I think his performance for the first year speaks for itself," said Daniel Duffy, CEO of Valley Network Solutions, a Fresno, Calif.-based solution provider.
As for HP’s new CEO, Whitman, solution providers said she would be wise to develop a keen understanding of the channel.
"The new CEO needs to do what Mark Hurd did, which is set a clear direction on what HP wants to be and figure out how to involve partners, customers and the whole HP ecosystem," said another HP partner, who didn’t want to be named.
Computex’s Haffar said HP and its board need to get back to basics.
"HP's roots are in embracing the channel. If they want to be successful, they have to focus on the channel," Haffar said.
With additional reporting from Andrew Hickey and Steven Burke