Another day, another high-profile CEO blasting HP for no apparent reason.
First Oracle CEO Larry Ellison jabbed at HP for firing Mark Hurd. Okay, the dude’s Hurd’s buddy, so that makes a certain amount of sense.
Then IBM CEO Sam Palmisano criticized HP for cutting research and development spending over Hurd’s tenure. Uhh… Sam? Did you notice that IBM’s R&D spend was flat over that period? Yeah, thought not.
Then it was Larry’s turn again, e-mailing the Wall Street Journal on Friday that he was “speechless” over HP’s decision to hire Leo Apotheker as its CEO, noting that Apotheker “was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP.” He called on HP’s board to “resign en masse … right away.”
Larry, Oracle beat SAP. Years ago. Time to move on. Seriously.
And then, curiously Tuesday was Jack Welch’s turn. Yup, former GE CEO Jack Welch. Because, you know, the world was waiting to hear what he had to say about HP’s board.
Alright, lay it on, Jack.
"The Hewlett-Packard board has committed sins over the last 10 years," Welch said at the World Business Forum in New York, according to news reports. "Where the hell was the leadership development? Who are these board members?"
Great point on leadership development, Jack. Because, you know, your protege, Jeff Immelt, has done such an amazing job as GE’s CEO. Shares are only down 56% since he took over. Nice work!
Let’s all agree that HP has made a few curious decisions in the past two months. But maybe it’s time for non-HP CEOs to take a deep breath and think about their own (many) mistakes before beating up HP after it’s been KO-ed. -David