At a meeting with analysts this week, HP will give its clearest indication yet of the state of its turnaround plans.
If HP’s formal guidance is significantly worse than what the Street already expects, it will amount to the first meaningful indications that Whitman may not be on track to do what she set out to do when she took over as CEO in 2011. Her stated plan to reinvigorate HP and put it on a path to sustained growth could morph into one marked instead by managing its long-term decline as best she can.
Perhaps Whitman, with all her powers of recovery, has bitten off more than she can chew with HP. She probably is the best person for the job, but the company is most likely headed towards a destination she can’t change.