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By 24 November 2011 | Categories: news

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In an open letter released this week, HP’s CEO Meg Whitman laid out her plans for getting HP “back on course” in the year ahead.

The first order of business, according to the letter which has been published in full by the International Business Times, entailed a renewed focus on running a “united company.”
 
Along with taking the company back to what it does well (presumably functioning as the world’s top PC vendor), she added that it also needs better coordination.

“The HP I inherited had some great businesses in computing, imaging, printing and services but it didn't look as if they were all well-knit and working together. Now we need to do better, so as to provide a better one-stop-shop to enterprises, compete better against IBM and watch that Apple doesn't start eating away at our place in the PC business,” she explained.

Take two tablets and call me in the morning

Whitman continued that the second focus for the company would be to determine where HP will play in tablets and other new products. On this point, Whitman hardly holds back, particularly with regards to its TouchPad tablet fiasco, commenting that the company took a huge, $3.3 billion one-time charge, including $1.64 billion to account for the acquisition of Palm.

Nor does she mince words about HP’s previous CEO, the fired Léo Apotheker. “My predecessor botched the HP TouchPad, which was supposed to be the answer to the iPad line, but we're going to get back into the tablet sector next year relying on Microsoft's Windows 8 OS for tablets,” she continued.

Whitman also pointed out that while its Personal Systems Group  is the world's largest, growth was negligible. She added that meanwhile, market researchers predict the tablet sector will skyrocket 245% to 60 million units this year, giving Apple a 75% share, and to 275 million by 2015.
 
“HP would be crazy not to have a tablet for consumers and corporate buyers. The TouchPad "fire sale" proved there is demand for a below-$499 tablet. Amazon looks on the way to success with the Kindle Fire,” she continued.
 
This only reaffirms Whitman’s previous statement earlier this month, in which she rejected a spinoff option for the company’s PSG and reassured that the company was not in fact abandoning the  tablet market.
 
Back to the future
 
Additionally, Whitman commented that she would ‘tap the smarts’ of the company’s Research and Development division, HP Labs. She elaborated that Joel Birnbaum, who led the division, helped make HP a computer powerhouse twenty years ago by devising new chip technologies. This profoundly changed the company from an instrument and technical products house to a ‘workstation giant’.

“HP also needs to keep pouring money into research and development. We spent $3.2 billion last year on it and have the cash to keep doing that,” she added. This, along with a solid acquisition strategy in the year ahead to put its $8.1 billion in cash on hand to good use, should make some for some interesting news in the year ahead.  

To the point

“I've already determined today's HP lacks focus and discipline. We need to be simpler, clearer and more consistent. But it's my job to get it done,” she concluded.  

In recent news, HP announced new Envy notebooks, with integrated Beats Audio technology.

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