LAS VEGAS: HP’s chief executive Meg Whitman has revealed plans to reassert the firm as an innovator by doubling its R&D spend and establishing WebOS as a credible alternative to Apple iOS and Google’s Android.
At HP’s Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Meg Whitman gave a rallying cry to her staff, customers and partners, setting out clear and decisive plans for every aspect of the company.
A major part of the strategy is to refocus the firm on invention and innovation. Whitman said that HP Labs had been underutilised over the past few years, and needs to become more focused on business and sales.
“I want to get them from incredible idea to commercialisation faster,” she said.
“We’re doubling down on our R&D spend in every division in this company.”
Whitman dropped in several less than subtle hints about her thoughts on previous management at the firm.
“We have to do a better job of organic innovation,” she said.
“That’s the way we should be able to invest, and that’s how we will.”
She was also keen to offer reassurance that her predecessor Léo Apotheker’s model of getting out of the hardware and consumer business to focus on enterprise and software was not part of her plans.
After the long period of uncertainty over the Personal Systems Group (PSG) set off by Apotheker announcing plans to spin it off or sell it, Whitman explained that it took her only three days to reach the decision to keep the hardware unit.
“We are proud to be a hardware and infrastructure company, and we want to stand tall with you. PSG and HP and you are better together than they are apart, and I feel great about that decision,” she told delegates.
“We’re not in the software business to transform HP into a software company. HP will remain the largest provider for infrastructure, software, services and solutions for individuals and organisations of all sizes.”
Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN.