HP has installed Meg Whitman as its new CEO, and rumors have immediately been sparked that she could decide to renew the company’s $99 HP Touchpad, following the massive success and unprecedented demand of its cut-price sale.
The $99 HP TouchPad is arguably the best value-for-money product in electronics this year, but came after HP decided to bow out of selling tablets and slashed its prices.
However, despite the rumors Whitman seems to be set on moving the company in a different direction, away from hardware.
After declining sales, HP earlier this year announced that it would be concentrating more on software and Whitman seems to be on board with that plan.
In her first interview as HP’s new CEO, Whitman confirmed that the company is standing by plans to acquire U.K. software market Autonomy Corp. for $10.3 billion.
She also stated that the company will continue to explore whether to sell or spin off the personal computer division, which was a move announced by HP on Aug. 18.
“It does not signal a change in the strategy,” Whitman said yesterday in the interview. “We are behind the actions that were taken on Aug. 18. We are firmly committed to Autonomy.”
Whitman is known for working magic at company’s such as eBay, where she turned a 30-employee $4 million annual revenue firm into a giant with 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue in ten years.
“I have run a large company – not obviously as large as HP, but I have run a very large company,” she said.
She added: “While I don’t have years of experience in an enterprise business, I bought a lot of software. I was one of the largest enterprise customers in Silicon Valley.”
It does not seem like she plans to change the company’s strategy. Software seems to be staying the focus, so products like the TouchPad will probably receive little attention.
However, the massive success of this summer’s fire sale of the $99 HP Touchpad is hard to ignore, and Whitman may decide yet to capitalize on the demand while interest remains at fever pitch.