May 19, 2020

American execs react to Meg Whitman as HP CEO

HP
Leo Apotheker
Hewlett-Packard
Meg Whitman
Bizclik Editor
3 min
American execs react to Meg Whitman as HP CEO

 

Meg Whitman is just hours into her new reign as CEO of Hewlett-Packard (formerly held by Leo Apotheker) and there is already mixed reviews of her new position from fellow American CEOs. Whitman is in the spotlight now as HP investors are in desperate need for an executive to reorganize and refocus the company to get it back on the up and up. And more importantly, investors want a CEO to pull back HP’s plans to spin its PC business.

HP stock prices already dipped below and others in the CEO limelight don’t believe Whitman is the best person for the position. (HP shares are down 95 cents this morning and stock traded as low as $19.92, making for a new 52-week low.)

According to Forbes.com, here are a few reactions to Whitman’s new job and how they foresee the future of the company.

Bill Shope, Goldman Sachs: “HP’s new CEO clearly has many issues to address in coming months, and we are cautiously optimistic many of the strategic challenges are resolvable,” he writes. “Unfortunately, the company is also facing increasing cyclical and secular tailwinds. Indeed, on the conference call last night, HP’s CFO noted that current quarter revenues could fall short of guidance as a result of softness in Europe and the public sector. We fear that these cyclical pressures could intensify in coming months as macroeconomic pressures continue to weigh on IT spending.”

Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein Research: “While we believe the decision to replace Leo Apotheker was a good one, we are disappointed with the naming of Meg Whitman as HP’s permanent CEO, and believe that this sentiment is shared by most investors and large HP shareholders,” he writes. “We view the lack of a comprehensive search of internal and external candidates for a permanent CEO role as unsatisfactory and unnecessarily hasty…HP could have – and should have – looked to attract a highly talented executive with a strong track record in operations and capital deployment from a large multinational company, likely outside the tech industry.”

Kulbinder Garcha, Credit Suisse: “While investors are likely to welcome any change, we believe several issues remain. These include deteriorating fundamentals, continuing Board indecisiveness and the need for evidence of improved execution.”

Keith Bachman, BMO Capital: “We believe that the change of leadership will help HP’s P/E multiple, but the businesses still face significant challenges. We see limited strategic choices for HP’s new leadership.”

Jayson Maynard, Wells Fargo: “While Whitman has an impressive resume and is an improvement, in our view, she doesn’t have enterprise computing or hardware experience.”

Scott Craig, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch: “In our view investors will likely remain wary, given Whitman’s limited experience in ‘enterprise convergence’ and running a company like HP, as well as the Board’s actions over the past 12+ months.”

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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