New HP CEO sets sights on infrastructure, innovation

- Thursday, December 1, 2011

New HP CEO sets sights on infrastructure, innovation

In her first public appearance after being appointed nine weeks ago as HP's (NYSE: HPQ) new CEO, Meg Whitman stressed that the company will focus on infrastructure, innovations and services.

Speaking before an audience of some 3,000 people at HP's Discover conference in Vienna, Whitman said the core of HP's strategy will mainly be infrastructure. She also underlined the company's high commitment to services - "we want to add value with that" - and software.

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Whitman assumed office after former CEO Leo Apotheker was fired after 11 months in the position, for proposing HP's hardware unit could be broken up or even shut down.

Whitman, who was previously CEO of online auction website EBay, said the "CEO transition is hard for everyone: for customers, employees, clients, shareholders," although she stressed the restructuring is for the better.

As part of that process, she said, HP is retargeting its business to processing applications, converged infrastructure, enterprise security, information optimization and hybrid solutions, such as those that include cloud computing.

Under Whitman, the company is also looking to act more forcefully in the big data segment, especially through the newly acquired British software company Autonomy.

She noted that HP will invest significantly more in its e-commerce vertical as well, and predicted increased IT expenditures for 2012 and also 2013, without disclosing hard figures.

Whitman said she understands and is "in tune" with the market's needs and those of consumers in particular, because "for the first time in HP's story, the CEO was first a customer."

"And I want to orient the company to the consumer's lens," she said.