HP names Whitman as CEO, Apotheker out

by CXOtoday Staff    Sep 23, 2011

Hewlett-Packard (HP) on Thursday named former eBay Chief Meg Whitman as its new President and Chief Executive Officer.Meg Whitman

Whitman replaces Leo Apotheker who has been ousted by HP’s board of directors. He was made the CEO post the resignation of Mark Hurd last year.
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Whitman stepped down in 2008 at eBay, the Internet auction giant, and last year made an unsuccessful run to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger as California governor, losing to Democratic veteran Jerry Brown. She had joined HP’s board in January this year.

According to Katy Huberty, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said the change was “a step towards regaining credibility with investors” but warned that “the path to a full recovery of investors’ faith in management and the company’s earnings power will take several quarters, if not longer.”

This possible ousting of Apotheker comes just weeks after the company had announced it would get rid of spin off its profitable hardware business and focus on software and cloud services for business.

HP’s price per share has fallen by more than 45 percent since Apotheker took over the reigns of the company.

According to sources, Apotheker has been removed because the board lost confidence in his ability to lead the company.

HP recently had lowered its sales forecasts thrice since Apotheker became CEO in November. In his attempt to overhaul HP, Apotheker had spun off HP’s personal computer division and agreed to pay $10.3 billion for Autonomy Corp., with many critics saying that he overpaid for the UK-based company.

This is the second time in a span of two years when Apotheker has been forced out of a top technology job. Last year, he had resigned from German business software maker SAP after less than a year as CEO.