Postcards

How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

Meg Whitman on easing HP's "post-traumatic stress"

November 21, 2011: 2:09 PM ET

Meg Whitman's first report card as CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) comes this afternoon when the company announces fourth-quarter earnings.

In the 60 days since she took the job, Whitman has settled on a strategy (keep HP in the PC business), worked to raise employee morale (terrible after three CEO ousters), and lifted the stock (up 12% since her appointment). But the former eBay (EBAY) chief, who lost her race for governor of California a year ago, has an enormous challenge ahead in reviving America's largest technology company.

"There is a bit of post-traumatic stress syndrome in the organization," she admitted at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit early last month, just days after she began the HP job. In a candid interview with Nina Easton, Fortune's Washington editor, Whitman compared HP to California--surprisingly, almost the same size by several key measures. But Whitman feels a lot more comfortable in one realm than the other, as she told us at the Summit.

Click here for the full transcript of the interview with Whitman at the MPW Summit.

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