Whitman to kick off HP comeback tour

Gigaom

When Hewlett-Packard(s hpq) CEO Meg Whitman addresses a few thousand HP partners Wednesday there will be a lot on the line.

HP relied on a cadre of retailers, value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators to build it into a tech colossus, but the last few years of management turmoil at the company has taken its toll on those partners, not to mention the company itself. Suffice it to say that Whitman will be the third HP CEO to address the HP Americas Partner Conference (APC) in three years. Last year’s CEO keynoter, Leo Apotheker was fired by HP in September, less than a year into the job. His predecessor, Mark Hurd, was shown the door in August 2010.

Whitman is going retro — pushing for “a return to the egalitarian culture that legendary HP founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard fostered decades ago, known as ‘The HP Way,'” according to an…

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