New Year, New CEOs at Major Technology Companies
Welcome to 2012. The first IT trend of the New Year: Many high-tech companies enter 2012 with new or recently named CEOs (examples include AMD, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard and IBM). Plus, a lengthy list of prominent CEOs (representing Cisco Systems, Dell, Microsoft, Oracle and Research in Motion) are under pressure to boost sales, profits and channel partner success. Here’s what channel partners should expect.
The VAR Guy will take a deep-dive look at one high-tech CEO per day over the next two weeks. The lineup includes…
New CEOs, New Challenges
AMD: Former Lenovo President and COO Rory Read joined AMD as CEO in August 2011. Read cut AMD’s staff in November 2011 and is now focusing the company on “low power, emerging markets and the cloud.” Can Read restore AMD’s profits while rewarding channel partners? Hmmm… The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Available here (posted Tuesday, January 3).
Apple: CEO Tim Cook succeeded Steve Jobs in August 2011. Cook remains best-known for his operational leadership. But can he continue Apple’s core momentum (iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) while pushing into new markets — including television? And does Cook give a darn about Apple channel partners? The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Available here (posted Wednesday, January 4).
Google: Everything old is new again. Co-founder Larry Page succeeded Eric Schmidt as CEO in April 2011. Steve Jobs once told Page to sharpen Google’s focus and zero in on a few core markets. Will Page follow that advice? While online advertising continues to dominate Google’s revenue stream and Android has captured consumer attention, the company continues to engage Google Apps channel partners and is even starting to promote Google Chromebooks through channel partners. But are partners profiting? The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Available here (posted Thursday, January 5).
Hewlett-Packard: Can HP bury a bleak 2011 and regain its form in 2012? Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman succeeded Leo Apotheker in September 2011 after HP’s board lost faith in Apotheker’s leadership style. Under Apotheker, HP hyped and then killed its WebOS mobile hardware efforts, and considered spinning off its PC business. Whitman has promised to bring focus back to HP but can she mend fences with some HP customers and partners that felt betrayed in 2011? The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Available here (posted Friday, January 6).
IBM: New IBM CEO Virginia (“Ginni”) M. Rometty succeeded Sam Palmisano on January 1, 2012. Rometty inherits a very strong company but some investors worry that IBM’s earnings growth will slow in 2012. Plus, is IBM’s channel focus — increasingly involving business analytics and business intelligence — too narrow for some partners? The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Available here (posted Monday, January 2).
…Same CEOs, New Challenges
Meanwhile, a lengthy list of technology companies are in transition. Some CEOs may even be on the hot seat. Among the leaders and businesses worth tracking…
Cisco Systems: In 2011 CEO John Chambers conceded that Cisco had lost its focused. He shut down the Flip consumer video business, cut staff and promised to ensure the Next Cisco — with a sharper customer and partner focus — would emerge quickly. The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Monday, January 9.
Dell: CEO Michael Dell has been pushing Dell deeper into multiple enterprise and cloud markets. Most of the moves involve acquisitions focused on storage, networking, security and cloud computing. But can Dell buy its way to success? The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Tuesday, January 10.
Microsoft: In late 2011, the rumor mill suggested Bill Gates may return to Microsoft in a full-time role. (Gates dismissed the rumor.) The rumor surfaced as some Wall Street pundits expressed concerns about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s leadership. Under Ballmer, Microsoft has missed the initial smart phone and tablet tidal waves. But Microsoft’s ongoing success in the enterprise applications market — Exchange Server, SQL Server, Dynamics, Lync, etc. — remains largely overlooked. The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Wednesday, January 11.
Oracle: In December 2011, Oracle unveiled disappointing quarterly sales and profits. CEO Larry Ellison insists that Oracle’s focus on engineered systems — integrating hardware and software — is the right strategy. But will customers and partners reward that focus? The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Thursday, January 12.
Research In Motion: Apple iOS and Google Android continue to pressure RIM’s core BlackBerry business. RIM’s push into tablets has been an expensive experiment. And a cloud outage in 2011 sent some RIM customers running to the exits. Ironically, RIM has two CEOs — Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. Can either executive pull RIM out of its nosedive? The VAR Guy’s Closer Look: Friday, January 13.
Who Did We Miss?
Did The VAR Guy overlook any of your key technology partners? Do you need The VAR Guy to more closely analyze a hardware, software or IT service provider? Feel free to post a comment and The VAR Guy will give it a look.