Hewlett Packard Rethinks Itself

It's amazing that Bob Frankenberg ever got anything done at all. Until last year, the Hewlett-Packard Co. general manager dealt with no fewer than 38 in-house committees. They decided everything from what features to include in a new software program to what city would be best for staging a product launch. Just coming up with a name for the company's NewWave Computing software took nearly 100 people on nine committees seven months. "There was a lot of decision overhead," says John A. Young, HP's chief executive officer.This is Hewlett-Packard? The company whose blend of advanced technology and enlightened management defined Silicon Valley? The company that year after year topped everybody's list of America's best-managed companies? Could this be the same company whose "HP Way" encouraged innovation by abolishing rigid chains of command, eschewing fancy executive offices, and putting managers, executives, and employees on a first-name basis?

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