POWER PLAY: Hewlett-Packard's linkup with Apple Computer to launch the iPod From HP shows great initiative, plus a bit of humility in being willing to admit when the other guy got it first. Ms. Johnson, 43, drove the new thematically similar campaigns for consumer ("You+HP"), enterprise ("Change+HP") and business ("Customers+HP") to keep the big brand under one umbrella. The b-to-b campaign had to cross vertical segments such as financial services and manufacturing. Last-mile details like agreements with Best Buy Co. and Circuit City Stores for creative HP product displays show the company's willingness to put its money down when it comes to driving business through marketing.
DOWNSIDE: Wide product portfolios always require careful management and ongoing innovation to succeed. A few missteps are a given. HP was late to the game in digital imaging products such as PC camera docks and 29¢ online prints. Still, HP believes in itself with a massive buyback of more than $2 billion in stock under way.