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HP chief: We must get products to market faster

Leo Apotheker tells The Wall Street Journal that one of his company's main weaknesses is its inability to get its most "innovative" products to the market quickly.

Hewlett-Packard's new CEO apparently believes that one of his company's biggest problems is it slow pace.

"We need to fire up our innovation engine and get our products to market faster," CEO Leo Apotheker said in an interview published today by The Wall Street Journal. "It's not that we aren't innovative; it's that it takes too long to get to market."

Apotheker didn't specifically cite products, but it's certainly possible he was referencing tablets. At the Consumer Electronics Show in 2010, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off HP's Slate tablet running Windows 7. For months, the device was AWOL, prompting some to wonder whether HP had spiked it. The company finally released the HP Slate 500 in October for $799.

HP's next tablet, the TouchPad, won't be available until summer--months after some of the top competitors in the tablet space, including the Motorola Xoom and Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook, are expected to launch.

Apotheker became HP's chief on November 1. He replaced Mark Hurd, who resigned in August after an investigation found him in violation of HP's code of conduct. In a conference call at the time, Apotheker, former CEO of SAP, pointed to software, not faster-to-market times, as the key to HP's future.

"I believe that HP should be more valuable than the sum of its parts," Apotheker said at the time. "Software is sort of the glue to make that happen."

Speaking of software, Apotheker did say in his new interview with The Wall Street Journal that HP has "some weaknesses in [its] software portfolio." He also noted that the company must "get way more business done in markets other than the U.S."