Good Communication Will Help Whitman In Her New HP CEO Position

Meg Whitman is the new CEO of HP. Hooray! Right? Kind of? People are already talking smack. Although, the board, which fired Leo Apotheker after less than a year, isn’t getting raves either.

Anyhoo, the first email about the leadership change went to employees yesterday, serving as a Braveheart-style pep talk about the importance of the company and the staffers. But it’s consumers, investors, analysts, and others who also need convincing. The company just a few weeks ago decided, out of the blue, to drop the TouchPad six weeks in, change the focus of the business, and try to buy another company.

And even though she’s promising “continuity,” that may not be the best message to put out there either.

“We’re going to get more of the same from a Meg Whitman- led HP as we did from a Leo-led HP,” one analyst told Bloomberg. “The board isn’t going to change the strategy and is going to continue down this path, which frankly was the fear.”

Nevertheless, CNet analyzes why continuity is necessary, especially given the steady and successful paths of competitors like Oracle.

That Bloomberg story goes on to talk about the need for communications, specifically discussing the business strategy. MWW Group also tackles this topic on its blog.

If the company is going through a herky jerky phase of trying to redefine itself and move into new industries, onlookers will need constant reassurance that this isn’t another TouchPad situation that will end in a lot of money spent without a lot of money earned.

And even if the company does stay the course, a new CEO means there’s a need for frequent, clear corporate and executive communications. A variety of missteps coupled with Apotheker’s tendency to make big announcements with little internal warning is largely the reason the board dumped him.

Whitman takes the top spot with people questioning her ability to run HP (and people questioning HP’s future). Keeping HP’s stakeholders informed will help answer those questions.

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