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Leo's Out! Meg Whitman Has Been Appointed HP CEO

By - Source: New York Times | B 27 comments

In a not-at-all-surprising follow up to yesterday's news that the HP Board of Directors intended to express their displeasure with then-current CEO Leo Apotheker by sacking him, the news was made official today after the close of the NYSE. Apotheker has officially been removed from his position and replaced by rumored front-runner for the job, HP board member and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. He will also be resigning as director. Apotheker's time as CEO saw the company making wild strategic shifts on a seemingly-regular basis, contributing to the appearance that the company lacked real leadership. However, despite his firing, reports are that some of his recent strategies, which include spinning off HP's personal computer business, will remain in place.

While Whitman's leadership of eBay was largely a success, her tenure was not without controversy. That controversy, and her lack of relative experience in the hardware business, didn't dissuade the HP Board who, unhappy with Apotheker's failure to right HP's flagging fortunes following the mismanagement of Mark Hurd, likely desired someone with a proven record of successful management. That the company apparently intends to go forward with plans to spin off their computer business may be confirmation of a plan to become more of a software services company, a job for which Whitman would also be prepared to oversee.

Whitman's most recent appearance in the public eye occurred during her bid to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger as California governor, though it is not likely that Jerry Brown's failure to present himself as a candidate for HP CEO contributed to her receiving the job. Her first order of business remains as of this writing unknown, but one hopes she wasn't too fond of the TouchPad and Pre.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    legacy7955 , September 22, 2011 10:07 PM
    HP will only be able to resurrect itself if the people leading it (including the BoD) stop thinking just about themselves and short term profits and start caring about what is best for the organization for the long term.

    I still say the Hewlett and Packard family members should see if they can gain control of the company back from the BoD and take it private.
  • 10 Hide
    dread_cthulhu , September 22, 2011 9:47 PM
    Hm... HP does need a refresh, and badly.
  • 10 Hide
    The Greater Good , September 22, 2011 9:30 PM
    She needs a job after all the money she blew on the campaign in California.
Other Comments
    Display all 27 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    The Greater Good , September 22, 2011 9:30 PM
    She needs a job after all the money she blew on the campaign in California.
  • 10 Hide
    dread_cthulhu , September 22, 2011 9:47 PM
    Hm... HP does need a refresh, and badly.
  • 1 Hide
    jacobdrj , September 22, 2011 9:51 PM
    HP needs someone with vision, who sees where HP is strong, and focuses on that...

    Why not take your existing, low margin, Consumer PC division, and do basic focus group testing on what is good and what is bad about your products?

    The fact is, it may be best for HP to spin off the Consumer PC division, as the company is just too big to make positive culture changes.
  • 2 Hide
    Darkerson , September 22, 2011 10:01 PM
    I guess she cant be any worse then the two that came before her. Maybe she can keep the ship from sinking any further.
  • 10 Hide
    legacy7955 , September 22, 2011 10:07 PM
    HP will only be able to resurrect itself if the people leading it (including the BoD) stop thinking just about themselves and short term profits and start caring about what is best for the organization for the long term.

    I still say the Hewlett and Packard family members should see if they can gain control of the company back from the BoD and take it private.
  • -4 Hide
    aaronstyle , September 22, 2011 10:13 PM
    Lets play musical CEO's! It's like a fad, or a trend. One person, or (company) does it, and the rest follow. I predict.... More new CEO's in the near future.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 22, 2011 10:30 PM
    Only reason I clicked this was because my name is Leo, and I was like "OOOHH,there's my name!" *click* :p 
  • -3 Hide
    rjq , September 22, 2011 11:22 PM
    does HP forgot how much does this lady spend in "advice"?? it looks like the the end of an era for the company...
  • 0 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , September 23, 2011 12:19 AM
    Meg Whitmen saved Hp once she will do it again. Hopefully she will reverse Hp's choice of getting out of the pc consumor market, because that is going to be a huge mistake for them to do. They aren't IBM, IBM could do that because their pc consumor market was a small minority of their overall gross, Hp its the opposite their pc consumor market makes up the majority of their overall gross.
  • -2 Hide
    clonazepam , September 23, 2011 12:24 AM
    Anyone's an upgrade compared to that last person! I'm also glad Meg Whitman isn't my Governator, as well.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 23, 2011 12:39 AM
    HP really needs someone that has years of experience managing a hardware company. Right now they just seem to be pulling random people from the board to serve as CEO..
  • 4 Hide
    eklipz330 , September 23, 2011 1:45 AM
    Leo is the worst thing that can happen to a company. he came in with no credentials, got an interview from only 3 people on the board of directors, and decided to change a successful hardware company into a software company.

    he pretty much destroyed HP.
  • 5 Hide
    oneblackened , September 23, 2011 3:00 AM
    eklipz330Leo is the worst thing that can happen to a company. he came in with no credentials, got an interview from only 3 people on the board of directors, and decided to change a successful hardware company into a software company. he pretty much destroyed HP.

    The two before him had a big hand in destroying HP too. Hurd got rid of any innovation that they had, and Carly before him caused huge and damaging changes to the corporate culture, according to someone I know who works for HP.
  • 2 Hide
    mrmike_49 , September 23, 2011 4:14 AM
    Sinking ship, and the board is clutching at any thing they hope will float

    It is really too bad, HP was one of the great companies once
  • 1 Hide
    orionite , September 23, 2011 5:05 AM
    Off to the next round of our corporations' favorite game: The board room incest. And if you screw up, you'll get a multi-million dollar golden handshake, and the fun begins anew - there's a C-level vacancy right next door, just waiting for you.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 23, 2011 8:12 AM
    The Jerry Brown reference was hilarious, I actually spat coffe out onto my keyboard
  • 1 Hide
    robwright , September 23, 2011 11:52 AM
    HP's board is remaking "The Hudsucker Proxy." It's really the only explanation at this point.
  • 0 Hide
    jabliese , September 23, 2011 2:34 PM
    Every time HP hires an outside CEO, it dies a little. Sometimes it dies a lot.
  • 2 Hide
    klondack , September 23, 2011 3:02 PM
    Lets see...HP Board members wanted to bring in somebody from outside to shake up the company in 1999...Fiorino then Hurd then Apotheker and now Whitman....How's that going for ya Board Members?

    Retired HP employee
  • -1 Hide
    deekie75 , September 23, 2011 3:11 PM
    Oh, goody. Should we expect to be nickel and dimed every time we go to HP's website now too?
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