HP execs forgo bonuses after poor sales

Speaking to Wall Street analysts yesterday, Fiorina tried to allay fears of poor times ahead by saying HP is on track to grow by between 15 and 20 per cent in 2001.

‘There are no executive bonuses being paid – starting with myself but not ending with myself – in the second half of 2000,’ she said. HP missed its fourth quarter earnings projections by a whopping 25 per cent.

Fiorina said future bonuses will be aligned to both profit and revenue, instead of just sales. In HP’s fourth quarter, revenue rose by $1.9bn to $13.3bn. ‘We are very serious about balancing top-line growth with bottom-line profitability,’ said Fiorina.

She also acknowledged that HP would be affected by the malaise in the US PC consumer market, which has already caused Gateway and Apple to announce profit warnings. Instead, Fiorina said HP’s growth will be fuelled by its Unix-based enterprise business.

About 10 per cent of the company’s revenue comes from the consumer PC business, and Fiorina believes that expansion in HP’s Unix server business will offset the anticipated slowdown in desktop growth.

She characterised the Unix server market as developing into a two-horse race between Sun Microsystems and an improving HP, and that the two rivals are pulling away from Compaq and IBM. Fiorina also pointed to forthcoming major new launches in its printer business.

Investors took encouragement in Fiorina’s remarks and HP’s share price rose by 75 cents to close at $32.32 on what was generally a bad day for technology stocks on Wall Street.

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