Has Hewlett-Packard Made Itself a Takeover Target?

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.

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

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