Tags: Whitman | Headwinds | hp

HP CEO Whitman: Headwinds to Stick Around in 2012

Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011 07:13 AM

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HP CEO Meg Whitman says headwinds her company is facing will not abate at least until past early 2012.

Company earnings are exceeding expectations although Whitman says she will remain cautious going forward.

"I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to turn this around, but we have some real headwinds going into 2012, and that’s why I felt it was prudent to guide conservatively and lay out for the investor community the challenges that this company is facing," Whitman tells CNBC.

"What we saw in 2011 was the consumer was weak for us throughout the year, and then the commercial market started weakening in Q3 and Q4 — and Q4 was worse than Q3."

"We'll still feel some of the effects I think in the beginning of 2012," Whitman says, adding "one, is the macroeconomic headwinds, things are not good in Europe; I’m worried about the United States’ economy; but we got some real challenges in our businesses as well that we have to work through in 2012."

HP has been embroiled in high-profile departures of senior executives.

Whitman, former head of eBay and unsuccessful candidate for governor of California, replaced Leo Apotheker as HP's CEO in September.

Apotheker had proposed spinning off the company's PC unit and halted production of the TouchPad, HP's answer to Apple's iPad, as part of a strategy to move towards software and services for businesses.

Whitman, just five weeks into her tenure, reversed all that, stating that HP would continue keep making PCs and produce tablet computers running on Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

"We need to reduce the drama here," Whitman told analysts on a conference call to discuss results, the New York Post reports separately.

"There was a lot of drama in 2011."

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