Hurd's Plan for HP Nirvana

Peter Burrows

The late Lew Platt heard the siren song. So did former HP CEO Carly Fiorina. I'm talking about the obvious potential for HP to tie its many businesses together to create an integrated high-tech juggernaut--from handheld consumer gizmos to supercomputer-class servers. But neither of them were able to figure it out to any great degree. Platt's Extended Enterprise plan in the 1990s never really jelled. Neither did Fiorina's plan to "innovate at the intersection" of hardware, software and services. Other than a few big managed services contracts, there was limited evidence that big customers or consumers were really looking to HP as a soup-to-nuts provider. Sure, it sold great printers, good PCs and its OpenView software was rock-solid. But there didn't seem to be much of a virtuous cycle created by linking them all together.

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