HP Can Learn From Chrysler, Apple and IBM
Chrysler, IBM and Apple all went through successful turnaround efforts. (In fact, Chrysler CFO Jerry York ended up at IBM for its turnaround and was on the Apple board of directors when Jobs came back.) While Chrysler slipped again for other reasons, all three companies followed the paths I've outlined.
The problems facing any company in need of a turnaround effort are overwhelming. It isn't that the people in charge aren't smart; they're overwhelmed. If you don't fix that part first, then a turnaround tends to be unprofitable. This is rarely a CEO problem, either; in fact, HP's tendency to rapidly replace CEOs has only made things far more difficult to fix.
This problem starts with the board. On paper, HP's board of directors is world-class, but it has to step up for HP's turnaround to succeed.
Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.
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