HP Expects No Changes to Key Initiatives or Strategy in Hurd's Wake

Interim chief executive Lesjak (pictured) says company will continue with plans on the table for supply chain, services, printing and R&D.

Hewlett-Packard Co.’s interim chief executive Cathie Lesjak said that the company will not alter a number of key initiatives nor change its long-term strategy and won’t “miss a beat” in its financial performance in the aftermath of former chief executive Mark Hurd’s sudden departure last week.

Prior to his resignation on August 6, Hurd was closely involved in several key projects tied to HP’s overall strategy and execution, including examinations of the company’s supply chain, services, printing and imaging operations, and research and development investments, Lesjak said.

Still on the table are plans to extend the vendor’s “pan-HP supply chain,” optimize “services synergies” from the EDS acquisition, drive “operational excellence within our printing and imaging business,” and make “the right research and development investments across our entire portfolio,” Lesjak said.

“Mark was a strong leader but at the end of the day, he didn’t drive the initiatives, it was the organization that supported Mark that drove those initiatives and they’ll be no change in those,” she said.

“HP has been built around a solid long-term strategy that remains unchanged and that has a number of sustainable competitive advantages,” Lesjak said.

She listed the vendor’s strengths as its technology and market leadership position, product and services portfolio, scale, global reach, senior executive and management team, financial strength and ability to execute.

“At the end of day with all the sustainable advantages that we have, this strategy and our ability to execute, we’re just very well positioned so there’s really no impetus at all for us to change this strategy,” Lesjak said.

HP better off than five years ago

Lesjak suggested that HP is better fortified to withstand Hurd’s departure than it was five years ago in the aftermath of former chief executive Carly Fiorina’s ouster after she presided over an extended downturn in the company’s fortunes.

“Over the last five years we have really changed the company dramatically,” Lesjak said. “Five years ago, IPG (Imaging and Printing Group) was the vast majority of our profits but today we have balanced profitability across all of our segments. I don’t think you’re going to see us miss a beat on this.”

Last Friday, HP issued a bullish guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter--projecting revenue of $32.5 billion to $32.7 billion and per share earnings in a range of $1.03 to $1.05—and for the full year—predicting sales in a range from $125.3 billion to $125.5 billion with per share earnings of about $3.62 to $3.64.

“Our guidance is not any different than if Mark Hurd was still CEO,” Lesjak said.

She said that HP will keep intact its September 28 date with financial analysts. The vendor also has an August 19 conference call scheduled to discuss its Q3 2010 final results.

TAGS: financial,HP,hewlett-packard,Hurd,Lesjak

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