Has Hewlett-Packard Made Itself a Takeover Target?

Friday, 19 Aug 2011 | 3:44 PM ET

Technology companies typically don’t make the best targets for activist investors, given how quickly things can change in their business. And it’s hard to imagine anyone could mount a successful fight on a company with a $49 billion market value. But when it comes to Hewlett-Packard, all bets are off.

Hewlett Packard
Hewlett Packard

Given a series of incoherent moves and abrupt changes in direction, not to mention a precipitous loss of market value, HP’s board of directors probably deserves to be challenged on its decision making, which includes a botched firing of its last CEO, Mark Hurd, the hiring of a new CEO, Leo Apotheker, who 11 months into his tenure has yet to stick to a strategy, and Thursday’s earning miss.

But while an activist might receive a warm reception were they to come with a strong slate of directors led by a well-known chairman (where’s Lou Gerstner?), it’s still a long shot.

Activists to Take Aim at HPQ?
Discussing HP's new growth strategy and why investors should keep an eye on the board of directors, with CNBC's David Faber and Gary Kaminsky.

Chances are this dysfunctional board, which includes many impressive people who apparently can’t make good group decisions. will keep on dysfunctioning.

Follow David on Twitter: @DavidFaberCNBC

Questions? Comments? Write to faberreport@cnbc.com.

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