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HP CEO talks up uncertainty in Dell buy-out

If anyone knows about instability, it's Whitman

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HP's self appointed turnaround queen Meg Whitman reckons that Dell's move to go private again will create a period of uncertainty for the customers and channel partners.

And who can blame her for putting the hammer down on her rival? Dell waded with some barbed comments when HP's hapless homer CEO Leo Apotheker publicly stated that the company was reviewing future ownership of the PC business.

Whitman, who replaced Apotheker and decided to keep hold of Personal Systems division, knows only too well the impact of dealing with the fallout of a major boob.

She told the audience at the Global Partner Conference that when question marks hang over the direction of a business, it "creates a hesitancy to buy".

This was evident in analyst shipment numbers in the wake of Apotheker's gaff, certainly in the UK when HP's market share of distributor shipments and revenues went backwards.

"When a company like Dell creates a buy-out scenario, it creates a phase of instability. We are coming out of that instability," said Whitman.

HP certainly seems to be more on the front foot, taking the unusual steps of criticising rivals on a public stage.

"Want to take advantage of the opportunity to tell out story of our innovation, customer support and services innovation - my personal view is that it [Dell's scenario] is an opportunity," Whitman added.

The Texan PC baron is already feeling a little bruised after reporting some pretty nasty results for its fiscal 2013 ended 1 February, certainly in its classic PC biz.

The progress HP is making will become more apparent when HP releases its fiscal Q1 number on 21 February. ®

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