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.

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  • The Greater Good
    She needs a job after all the money she blew on the campaign in California.
  • dread_cthulhu
    Hm... HP does need a refresh, and badly.
  • legacy7955
    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.
  • Other Comments
  • The Greater Good
    She needs a job after all the money she blew on the campaign in California.
  • dread_cthulhu
    Hm... HP does need a refresh, and badly.
  • jacobdrj
    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.