BY LARRY DIGNAN
Meg Whitman is allegedly a top pick to be Hewlett-Packard's next CEO, but the to-do list is massive and it's unclear whether swapping leaders will make that much of a difference.
The larger questions revolve around whether HP has a board of directors problem, a leadership issue, or a questionable master plan, assuming it still has one. Perhaps it's all of the above/
The to-do list for Whitman would go like this:
1. Decide what to do with the PC business. Should it stay or go?
2. Determine if HP's software strategy is correct and figure out if Autonomy is the right fit.
3. Fix the services business and move it to higher margin deals.
4. Figure out whether HP pulled the plug on the TouchPad too early.
5. Define HP.
But those are just the short-term items for HP. In the longer run, HP has to decide whether its recent issues are about the leadership--CEO Leo Apotheker wasn't up to snuff?--or about its plan to ditch PCs and bolster software and services. HP's board met yesterday but didn't pull the trigger on Apotheker. However, that vote of no confidence has already damaged HP and Apotheker. The company looks rudderless.
Read the rest of this column at CNET News.