Whitman's political obsessions spell disaster for HP

New chief executive already active as fundraiser for GOP presidential race

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Hewlett-Packard is a mess.

The world's largest computer maker has lost its sense of direction under a series of incompetent, overpaid visionless CEOs and a board of directors that outdoes Yahoo's for hapless dysfunctionality.

HP shareholders saw the value of their holdings plummet during Leo Apotheker's brief tenure as chief executive. They're worried -- and rightly so -- that the company may not reverse its slide toward irrelevance as the mobile and cloud computing eras unfold.

What the shareholders want -- and what HP needs -- is a fully engaged chief executive who is focused on devising and executing a turnaround plan that isn't all about layoffs and cost-cutting. In other words, someone who takes the time and effort to understand HP's business, its strengths, its weaknesses, its assets.

Does this sound like that person to you?

From the Wall Street Journal:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has kept the political world in suspense for weeks over his presidential intentions, told prominent California fund-raisers and donors as recently as last Wednesday he had no plans to seek the White House.

One assurance took the form of a pledge Mr. Christie made to Meg Whitman, the newly appointed Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive, said two people familiar with the matter. As a condition of Ms. Whitman's hosting a high-priced fund-raiser for him, Mr. Christie said he wouldn't enter the Republican presidential contest, these people said.

The WSJ goes on to note that Whitman is a "prominent supporter" of GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. Last Wednesday Whitman and her husband hosted a $15,000-per-couple dinner at their Silicon Valley mansion for Christie and other wealthy political contributors.

It's all in the game
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