Hewlett-Packard is far from rudderless in the aftermath of the embarrassing bouncing of CEO Hurd. Proof: H-P bid $1.6B today for 3PAR to top a handshake deal that Dell had with the data-storage company. It promises to be focused like a laser to win its prize.
H-Pís hometown paper, the San Jose Mercury News, calls the takeover move a "surprise counteroffer." The New York Times predicts a bidding war could break out, though H-P's $24 per-share offer price represents a 150 premium over the target companyís pre-bidding stock closing and a 33 percent bonus over what Dell offers.
Bring it on, says H-P. A bidding war is just what it needs.
Truth of the matter: the $1.6B outlay is chump change for H-P, which earned $6.2B on $92B nine-month revenues. Itís a small payment to restore luster to the image-battered giant. H-P simply needs to back to business.
The hostile offer is a huge PR statement from the electronics giant, which some critics dismissed as a takeover target after Hurd was unceremoniously shown the door for apparently fudging expense reports though ďnot having sex with that womanĒ a la Bill Clinton.
Hurd, who has turned to crisis maestro Sitrick & Co., remains a media thorn in the side of H-P. The Palo Alto giant had been pursuing 3PAR prior to Hurdís abrupt departure. It could have written off 3PAR in a bid to close the book on Hurd era. It didnít. Touche.
Hereís a tip for H-P: restore Hurdís bio to the corporate site. As a tribute to its storied history, H-P includes the bios of former CEOs. [Interim CEO Bob Wayman who served for a cup of coffee from Feb to March `05, only gets a headshot.]
The roster of CEO heavyweights includes Bill Hewlett, David Packard, John Young and Lew Platt. Even the less-than-legendary Carly Fiorina, who is now running for the Senate from the Golden State, gets her due.
A visitor who clicks on Hurdís link is told the ďpage you are looking for is no longer available or have been moved.Ē Thatís petty. HPers may have hated bean-counter Hurd, but shareholders loved the rascal. Rise about pettiness, H-P. Return Hurd to the pantheon of leadership and reel in 3PAR.