Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman Tuesday received a rousing round of applause from thousands of Discover conference attendees when she proclaimed that HP had turned a corner and was back on stable ground with a reignited innovation engine and a clear vision for the future.
"I can tell you with pride that HP has turned the corner, we are on a clear path and have done the hard things to keep us in the lead. The company is back on stable footing," said Whitman, pausing briefly to thank the estimated 9,000 attendees for the unexpected show of support during her keynote address. "We have reestablished relationships with our most important constituents: our employees, our investors, but most importantly, you, our customers. We have made it easier for you to do business with us. We have reignited the innovation engine and we are executing a clear and compelling strategy that will take HP into the future."
It was a telling moment given just how far Whitman has come in shoring up HP's once-battered balance sheet and driving a new generation of innovative products that were on full display at this year's Discover show including a new Apollo high-performance computer, a breakthrough all-flash HP 3Par StoreServ 7450 storage array priced at less than $2 per Gbyte, and a new Helion Global Network for cloud services.
"HP's turnaround remains firmly on track," said Whitman, noting that HP delivered earnings-per-share at the high end of guidance for the most recent quarter, generating $3 billion in cash flow from operations and net cash of $2.7 billion. She also acknowledged HP plans to layoff an additional 16,000 employees as a necessary step to eliminate bureaucracy and get closer to customers.
"These changes will also help our ability to innovate, to read a threat and out maneuver, to bring the resources of a battleship while moving like a speed boat,"she said. "We are making these changes to equip this company for the future and to be the best technology partner on earth for you."
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