KGOU

Shareholders Re-Elect Hewlett-Packard Board Members

Mar 21, 2013
Originally published on March 21, 2013 8:23 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hewlett Packard's gift to shareholders is at the top of NPR's Business News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: HP is still the world's biggest personal computer maker. You might not know that, given the brand hardly has the appeal of sexier tech companies like Apple or Google, and its investors have been a frustrated and angry bunch. So, HP is trying to appease shareholders. Today, Hewlett-Packard announced it is boosting its quarterly dividend by 10 percent. It may be a gift for what investors just did.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The company's annual meeting, yesterday, shareholders re-elected all the board members - though two won just barely. NPR's Wendy Kaufman has more.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: HP will celebrate its 75th birthday next year. The company was once a technology giant. But with old products, a lack of vision and a revolving door at the top, the company has been floundering.

In recent years, its board of directors was often viewed as ineffective or worse - bungling the firing of one CEO and approving an $11 billion acquisition that turned into a financial disaster.

But at the company's annual meeting in Silicon Valley yesterday, CEO Meg Whitman, insisted that the worst is behind them, she added the board is helping to implement her turnaround strategy and employees are doing their part.

MEG WHITMAN: HP people are truly remarkable. Through thick and thin, through the ups and downs, the HP people have kept innovating, kept delivering for customers. You can see the increased pride in HP. We're coming back and we're coming back strong.

KAUFMAN: HP still makes computers and printers. But now it's focusing on the more lucrative areas of data management and cloud based initiatives.

Technology analyst Rob Enderle says given the mess Whitman inherited, she is making headway.

ROB ENDERLE: She is doing a pretty good job, her team is strong and execution looks pretty good but they are two years into a five-year turnaround.

KAUFMAN: Whitman lost the California governors' race back in 2010. She must sometimes wonder whether that job might have been easier.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.