Hewlett-Packard has told CEO Leo Apotheker to hit the bricks after less than year on the job. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman will replace him.
Apotheker was under fire for the failure of HP’s TouchPad tablets, his idea to spin off the company’s successful PC line and the $10.3 billion acquisition of software vendor Autonomy. Thanks to those moves and repeated cuts to HP’s sales forecasts, the company’s stock has dropped nearly in half since Apotheker became CEO in November.
The news came a day after The New York Times reported that most HP board members had never met Apotheker before voting to hire him. But they’ve all met Whitman; she’s been on the board since January.
Windows Phone 7 Mango update due soon
Windows Phone 7.5, code-named Mango, will be out “in the next week or two,” Microsoft said Wednesday. The Mango update process will also deliver specialized firmware for each Windows Phone 7 device, developed to make sure all phone features and apps work with the new OS.
The Windows Phone 7 Mango update will bring multitasking capabilities, support for 4G networks, threaded email and advanced messaging and social networking features.
McAfee focuses on mobile
McAfee laid out its security strategy for mobile devices this week. The company’s approach focuses on securing devices themselves, along with the apps they run and the data they store. Antivirus, application scanning and even systems management technologies are part of McAfee’s strategy, highlighted by its Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) product. EMM is designed to give admins the same level of control over mobile devices that they have over corporate PCs and laptops.
Layoffs hit PlayBook manufacturer
Quanta Computer, manufacturer of Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook, is laying off 1,000 workers because of the tablet’s poor sales. DigiTimes reported that Quanta’s Taiwan-based PlayBook production line started with more than 2,000 employees, so these layoffs mean a 50% staff reduction.
Given the enterprise dominance of BlackBerry smart phones, hopes were high that the PlayBook could have similar success in the tablet market. But the phones’ major selling point, corporate email access, didn’t carry over, because for some reason the PlayBook doesn’t have a native email client.
RIM shipped only 500,000 PlayBooks in the second quarter of this year, and that number dropped to 200,000 last quarter. RIM’s profits plunged 59% last quarter as well, and Wednesday its stock price reached at a five-year low.