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