The maker of expensive printer ink, HP, remains broken and its CEO Meg Whitman said that it will be four years before she knows if she has fixed it.
Whitman was appointed as a trouble shooter for HP after a string of CEOs failed to do much to pull HP's nadgers out of the fire. Talking to financial analysts Whitman said that HP was not as competitive as it needed to be.
According to Computerworld, her glorious five year plan for fixing HP includes improving its internal IT systems, reducing the number of products it sells, and bringing stability to the organisation.
She is pleased to say that she has managed to bring some stability at least.
Financial analysts were a little shocked that Whitman's turnaround plans that will take HP to "industry leading margins" won't be accomplished until 2016.
She said that next year does not count because it will be rough, thanks to a retreat in spending by worldwide consumers and China.
However, by 2014 the investments HP is now making will begin to pay off. HP posted an $8.9 billion loss in the third quarter ended 31 July. Some of that was the $13.9 billion acquisition of EDS in 2008.
So far HP has laid off 29,000 workers.
Whitman said that some of the blame for HP's bad performance was its own IT systems which she said has hurt the company's internal operations.
HP has not had "a compelling sales management system or CRM system for years", Whitman said. This year the company signed a contract with Salesforce.com to sort this out.
She also said that HP had too many products and these will be cut by half in the next year. Apparently there is no call for having 2,100 laser printers on the books.