PC giant Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ -1.81% ) has recently said it was taking an $8.8 billion impairment charge related to its 2011 acquisition of British software maker Autonomy. That was a deal put together by ex-CEO Leo Apotheker. The big twist in this story is that HP says Autonomy defrauded it by fudging the numbers and overvaluing itself. Current CEO Meg Whitman has now overseen approximately $20 billion in writedowns. Going forward, HP needs to refocus on products, which is exactly what Whitman said on the conference call. It will launch tablets running Microsoft ( MSFT -1.79% ) Windows 8, then eventually a smartphone to challenge Apple ( AAPL 3.16% ) and Google ( GOOGL -2.50% ).
The turnaround clock is ticking.
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