She said on Thursday the company's efforts were gaining traction, but "there's still a lot of work to do to generate the kind of growth we want to see."
"The turnaround is on track, and we did better than we expected that we would," she told analysts on a conference call after HP reported its quarterly results. "The patient showed some signs of improvement, and I think we should be encouraged."
Whitman also said reiterated that HP has no plans for a break-up of the company and the PC business is one that the company needs to be in, but it needs to "reallocate resources from the core PC business to mobile" and other services.
HP's fiscal first-quarter revenue shrank 6 percent to $28.4 billion in a flat to shrinking personal computing market, but it beat the $27.8 billion Wall Street analysts had expected on average.
Net income fell 16 percent to $1.23 billion, or 63 cents a share, from $1.47 billion, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier.
HP is struggling to shore up its credibility on Wall Street while battling shrinking margins in an increasingly cut-throat PC market and cautious corporate IT spending. Like Dell, HP is also struggling to sustain sales growth as smartphones and tablets surge in popularity.
Forrester analyst Frank Gillett said despite signs of progress, the business atmosphere — with PCs in decline — is challenging for HP.
"For HP, it's a multi-year journey and this is just one step," Gillett said. "They have a long road ahead."
Gillett said HP's data center business could recover faster than its PC business.
Underscoring the severity of the industry's woes, Dell on Tuesday reported a 31 percent drop in profit as sales fell in virtually every major business division. CEO Whitman in October had warned of a tough 2013, with earnings set to decline steeply.
Trading volume surged in the final hour of trading before the announcement — a more than 500 percent increase from average hourly volume Thursday and surpassing 15 million transactions (see chart).