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Whitman Sees 'Heavy Lifting' for HP, but Market Cheers

Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013 | 1:59 PM ET
HP's CEO Promotes Turnaround & Tech Innovation
The tech company's five year plan won't take that long to see results, said Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard CEO, with an update on her company's turnaround plan and cloud technology strategy.

Hewlett-Packard's stock surged on Wednesday, buttressed by remarks from CEO Meg Whitman who told CNBC in an interview that the company was "a bit ahead" of where it though it would be when it first embarked on its path to reinvention.

Though Whitman conceded that the beleaguered computer giant still has a long road ahead of it, she touted what she called HP's growing complement of products. "I think this is the strongest lineup that HP has seen in many years," she said.

In midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, HP's stock soared by more than 4 percent to $25.29.

She said the computer maker would have to adapt to the "new style" of a changing technology sector, especially in a market where personal computers have hemorrhaged sales as consumers gravitate toward smartphones and tablets.

The five-year transformation that Whitman established when she took the reins helped HP beat Wall Street estimates in the second quarter.

(Read More: Profit Down, but HP Beats Estimates)

"You don't have to wait five years to get results. I'd say we're just a bit ahead of where we thought we'd be," she said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "We've got a long way to go. There's a lot of heavy lifting ahead."

In an environment where personal computer sales have plunged while portable devices and smartphones rule the roost, Whitman insisted that consumers will still find value in HP products. In the fiercely competitive information technology sector, she said her company would have to tailor its priorities to "the new style of IT, because everything is changing in IT."

What happens to the PC business is "the biggest wildcard," Whitman said.

"The need to create, consume, to share is exploding because data is exploding, and there's so many more things you can do as an individual," she said. "We've got to get to mobility, we've got to get to other operating systems, and other things" that consumers demand.

Although analysts doubt the ability of PCs to weather the onslaught of smartphones and tablets, Whitman insisted that "it matters what happens to HP. It matters to our industry, it matters to our customers."


By CNBC's Javier David.

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