The saga of Hewlett Packard and its missteps continue.  Financial and news media are reporting that HP’s board of directors is this evening considering the ouster of current CEO Leo Apotheker after eleven months of turbulence and  controversy, with his successor noted to be recently appointed board member and ex-CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman.  The latest headline comes from the New York Times. The ongoing comedy is that these decisions are supposed to be confidential until announced officially, but then again HP’s board tends to have lots of apparent leaks, extending back to the ouster of two other CEO’s.  Also interesting, HP’s stock has risen as a result of this speculation.

From a supply chain perspective, this new development drops yet another bomb of huge uncertainty, both for HP’s existing customers such as our office, as well as HP’s supply chain partners..  Will the new CEO revisit the decision to spin-out the PC division or go ahead with the decision?  Does Meg Whitman understand supply chain strategy, or does she care? Will HP lose its leverage in the volume procurement of key electronic components, or then again, will HP exit the hardware segment? Will HP sell-off its tablet and Palm WebOS mobile operating system IP?

Our previous Supply Chain Matters commentary noted that the key player in the catbird seat with all of these developments is Apple, who stands to keep eating into the revenue erosion of current PC and tablet producers.  Perhaps we should speculate that Apple’s board, Tim Cook and the senior management team are popping the champagne corks this evening, yet again.

Stay tuned to this streaming set of HP events since more is sure to come.

Bob Ferrari