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Vol. 4 No. 1 March 2005

What's next for HP?

Carly Fiorina's departure from Hewlett-Packard (HP) might be an occasion for me to relate an anecdote about Fiorina that demonstrated her cluelessness about storage--but she rarely spoke about storage, and therein lay the problem. During her reign, the reputations of Compaq and HP as engineering innovators suffered and nowhere more than in storage. One former Compaq/HP exec told me that Fiorina told senior staff before the merger that product strategy decisions would be made strictly on merit after the merger--politics and past associations would play no role. That, the former exec said, lasted less than three months and was followed by a long period of one step forward, two steps sideways moves. In the last few years, I've heard a steady drumbeat of questions and concerns that could all be boiled down to "What the heck is going on at HP?" Field office closures, unsteady product road maps, a fairly slow trickle of innovation and the highly public exodus of most of the visible faces heading the storage business led to much ...

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