Is Todd Bradley Tibco Software’s Answer for Tableau Software?

Tibco Software seemed awefully excited about its hire of Todd Bradley, but should you?

Jun 23, 2014 at 12:05PM

Despite Tibco Software's (NASDAQ:TIBX) near 6% stock loss after reporting second-quarter results, there is some excitement on social media channels surrounding its hire of Todd Bradley as president. Bradley, formerly at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ), most notably headed a $60 billion printing and PC business. As Tibco's competition against Tableau Software (NYSE:DATA) intensifies, will Bradley prove to be a good hire for this key role?

Who is Todd Bradley?
If you read Tibco's press release regarding its new hire, the company seems very excited about Bradley, as are several big-name CEOs who issued their support of the hire. Tibco specifically talks about Bradley's time as HP's executive vice president of its Printing and Personal Systems Group, a $60 billion annual business.

Given this experience and its enormous responsibilities, Tibco is hoping that Bradley can show global responsibility for the customer-facing functions of sales, marketing and professional services, with a focus on creating and increasing value for the company. Also, the company is likely hoping that Bradley can help it with a little problem called Tableau Software.

Let's look deeper at HP saga
Bradley has held several key positions during his career, but the HP role is his most celebrated. However, it wasn't all rainbows and unicorns during his tenure between 2005 and 2014, as he held several different positions that created quite a bit of controversy during this time.

In 2011, BGR reported that Bradley was looking to leave HP in search of a CEO role and was interviewing for every CEO job he could. Reportedly, he was having a hard time finding work, and was even passed over for Leo Apotheker at HP. During this time, investors expected him to take control of a PC spinoff, which never occurred.

In June 2013, Bradley's position as VP of the large printing and PCs division was changed to the title of VP for strategic growth initiatives so he could focus on China. In the quarter prior to this news, HP's PC unit reported a 21% year-over-year revenue decline to $7.3 billion while its profit margin declined from 5.6% to 3.3%.

Reuters then reported in February 2014 that Bradley had been sidelined by CEO Meg Whitman. HP spokesperson Michael Thacker told Reuters that Bradley "was not making progress fast enough on the turnaround, and Meg wanted new leadership in those roles."

What's next for Tibco?
With all things considered, Tibco is getting an executive who is accomplished but was seemingly forced out of HP for a lack of performance. Notably since his departure, the PCs segment has seen a rebound, with year-over-year sales growth of 7% and 4% during the last two quarters, respectively. The most significant reason for this newfound growth has been commercial and enterprise PC sales, which grew 12% in the last quarter.

Bradley may be a great organizer and leader, but his strength does not appear to be company turnarounds. This could be bad news for Tibco, a company that desperately needs to find a way to attract new enterprise users to drive license revenue higher, and is in the midst of a turnaround-like process.

In Tibco's last quarter, its license revenue accounted for 30% of total sales and fell 7% over the prior-year period. The company blamed poor execution, but in the meantime, big-data peer Tableau saw its year-over-year license revenue rise 83% in the first quarter and 95% in the fourth quarter, as it continued to put fundamental pressure on Tibco.

While Tibco CEO Vivek Ranadive insists that its products are better for analyzing data, and that execution -- along with the need for a cheaper service -- is its only problem, the market feels differently, and Tableau is quickly becoming the biggest and most popular name in big data.

Foolish thoughts
Bradley may bring something to the table, but it's unknown as to how he'll be able to close the gap between Tibco and Tableau in terms of growth, or make Tibco's flagship product Spotfire more appealing to consumers and small businesses. Until we see fundamental proof of a turnaround, investors should tread carefully before turning bullish on this big-name hire.

Your credit card may soon be completely worthless
The plastic in your wallet is about to go the way of the typewriter, the VCR, and the 8-track tape player. When it does, a handful of investors could stand to get very rich. You can join them -- but you must act now. An eye-opening new presentation reveals the full story on why your credit card is about to be worthless -- and highlights one little-known company sitting at the epicenter of an earth-shaking movement that could hand early investors the kind of profits we haven't seen since the dot-com days. Click here to watch this stunning video.

Brian Nichols has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Tibco Software. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

Something big just happened

I don't know about you, but I always pay attention when one of the best growth investors in the world gives me a stock tip. Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner (whose growth-stock newsletter was rated #1 in the world by The Wall Street Journal)* and his brother, Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner, just revealed two brand new stock recommendations moments ago. Together, they've tripled the stock market's return over 12+ years. And while timing isn't everything, the history of Tom and David's stock picks shows that it pays to get in early on their ideas.

Click here to be among the first people to hear about David and Tom's newest stock recommendations.

*"Look Who's on Top Now" appeared in The Wall Street Journal which references Hulbert's rankings of the best performing stock picking newsletters over a 5-year period from 2008-2013.

Compare Brokers