HP gets new CEO, Meg Whitman

As predicted yesterday Apotheker gets the heave-ho, ex-CEO of eBay takes his place
Darren Allan
Darren Allan -

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As we (and many others) speculated yesterday, the CEO at HP, Leo Apotheker, is the CEO no longer.

And the grapevine proved true to its promises that Meg Whitman, ex-CEO of eBay, would be his replacement.

Whitman has now been officially announced as the new President and CEO, with Apotheker stepping down from the chief exec position, and also resigning as a director of the firm.

Ray Lane has also shifted from non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors.

Lane commented: “We very much appreciate Leo’s efforts and his service to HP since his appointment last year. The board believes that the job of the HP CEO now requires additional attributes to successfully execute on the company’s strategy.”

“Meg Whitman has the right operational and communication skills and leadership abilities to deliver improved execution and financial performance.”

HP has been something of a disaster zone this year, what with the monumental cock-up in launching webOS devices such as the Pre 3 and TouchPad, then immediately canning the whole line.

The company’s share price has halved since the beginning of Apotheker’s reign, so it’s no surprise to see him get the boot.

HP still remains the number one global PC manufacturer, however, and by some distance over Dell. Apotheker was talking about the possibility of spinning off that business, another possible reason why investors were getting jitters.

That and the planned acquisition of UK software firm Autonomy for a hefty $10 billion.

This represents a strategic shift away from hardware towards software and services, and greater profit margins in theory. And it seems that from early reports, Whitman isn’t set to change the overall strategy.

However, the flogging off of HP’s PC arm is hardly a done deal yet – but it’s still definitely on the table as an option.

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