The Schwartz Report

Blog archive

Ray Lane Finally Steps Down As HP Chairman

It was long overdue but Hewlett-Packard chairman Ray Lane yesterday said he was stepping down, but will remain on the company's board of directors. Two other board members, John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson said they will exit the board when their terms expire next month.

The three were up for re-election this week and got by with a slim majority but the vote made clear investors were not happy with the three. Many fault Lane for the way he guided former CEO Leo Apotheker and the chaos that erupted under Lane's reign as chairman.

The dysfunction came to a head in August of 2011 when Apotheker simultaneously announced the company was evaluating the divestiture of its PC group, the demise of its TouchPad tablets less than two months after their release and the $10.3 billion acquisition of Autonomy -- a deal that turned out to be worth a small fraction of what HP paid. The company wrote off most of that deal. That led to Lane's ultimate ouster a month later when Meg Whitman was named CEO.

In a statement, Lane tacitly acknowledged the level of dissatisfaction with him. "After reflecting on the stockholder vote last month," Lane said. I've decided to step down as executive chairman to reduce any distraction from HP's ongoing turnaround."

Indeed Lane and his board colleagues did the right thing. By most accounts, HP is making progress, albeit incremental, under Whitman. Employee morale is improving and the company's stock is up. But as Whitman warned, it will take years to right HP's ship. Investor confidence is a step in the right direction.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/05/2013 at 1:15 PM


  • Basic Authentication Extended to 2H 2021 for Exchange Online Users

    Microsoft is now planning to disable Basic Authentication use with its Exchange Online service sometime in the "second half of 2021," according to a Friday announcement.

  • Microsoft Offers Endpoint Configuration Manager Advice for Keeping Remote Clients Patched

    Microsoft this week offered advice for organizations using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager with remote Windows systems that need to get patched, and it also announced Update 2002.

  • Azure Edge Zones Hit Preview

    Azure Edge Zones, a new edge computing technology from Microsoft designed to enable new scenarios for developers and partners, emerged as a preview release this week.

  • Microsoft Shifts 2020 Events To Be Online Only

    Microsoft is shifting its big events this year to be online only, including Ignite 2020.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.