HP Shareholds to HP CEO: ‘Why Can’t We Be More Like Apple?’

Ouch. It’s never easy when you’re the CEO of a company whose shareholders want to know why you’re not as innovative as another company’s CEO. Then again, when that “other company’s” CEO is Steve Jobs… there’s no easy answer.

This week, during the very entertaining Q&A session at Hewlett Packard’s annual shareholder meeting, shareholders put CEO Meg Whitman in the hot seat and repeatedly drilled her on the matter of innovation – specifically, why HP can’t innovate the way Apple does.

“Do you think HP was and is innovative enough?” one participant asked Whitman. “We all have to applaud Apple for their success,” she responded. “This is one of the great business renaissance stories of our generation. I have to say Steve Jobs is one of the business leaders of our generation.”

Whitman quickly added that HP is still “No. 1 or No. 2 in every business” where it competes with other industry giants and added that research and development of new products has never been a higher priority for the company.

To learn more about what went on inside the meeting, check out the HP website for event details.