HP has hardly been in the news since Leo Apotheker took over the helm from the beleaguered Mark Hurd months ago. Since then, Apotheker has been living in the shadows while he gets a better picture of what is really going on at HP and undoes some of Hurd’s more unpopular moves, such as pay cuts. On Monday, he made his public debut, but some analysts worry that it was too marred by buzzwords, not giving any real indication of where he wants to take one of the world’s largest high tech companies.
First there the good news. Despite a 20 percent drop in stock prices, HP’s quarterly dividends to investors are up 50 percent, from 8 cents to 12 cents. Dividends have not gone up like for well over a decade.
Then the breaking news-style news. HP will be focusing on cloud computing and, in particular, selling services for cloud computing over the internet. On the other hand, Apotheker also insisted that HP was already a leading cloud computing service provider, leaving analysts to wonder what the new innovation is.
He did launch a new slogan: “Everybody On: seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world,” but that left people wondering what he was adding apart from stringing together buzzwords. He may as well have added “performance optimization,” “turnkey solutions,” “value added,” and “scalability” (all of which figured in his talk), to come up with “Everybody On: seamless, secure, scalable turnkey solutions, optimizing performance and adding value in an interconnected world.”
Nevertheless, the stock market responded somewhat positively, with share prices rising 0.5 percent, to $41.70.