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HP may fire CEO, bring Whitman in by market close Thursday

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Thu September 22, 2011

HP said dropping CEOs almost immediately

HP may be ready to fire Leo Apotheker as soon as Thursday, more than one source claimed at mid day. The tip to AllThingsD had the 11-month CEO out and replaced by former eBay head Meg Whitman after the stock market closes, between 4PM and 4:30PM Eastern. Whitman would be a permanent replacement and not the interim hire some had expected.

Whitman had a mixed track record at eBay, having taken it public and grown its business rapidly but also to have botched the Skype deal in the long term. She is nonetheless reported as eager to get back into an executive position at a company after her failed Republican candidacy in California and on-and-off consultancy at Kleiner Perkins. Her long time communications advisor Henry Gomez is said to have signed on to help manage the news of her CEO position.

Whitman would come to HP as the antithesis of Apotheker. The soon to be outgoing CEO came from SAP and has been focusing most of his attention on enterprise business, culminating in the decision to end webOS hardware and consider dropping PCs. Whitman, meanwhile, is focused on home users and would be more likely to keep these businesses.

The forced departure would reflect a frustration with Apotheker's performance and his strategy. Along with dropping HP's stock value 47 percent in the past year, he has cast doubt on the home PC business that has defined much of HP's identity and effectively taken HP out of contention in the mobile field. By mentioning a possible PC business spin-out 12 to 18 months in advance, he also potentially damaged the prospects for both existing sales and the long term.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000


    Product oriented CEO vs MBA

    HP has lost is track 10 years ago and completely forgot what HP roots really are. They are an electronics engineering company who mostly made products in the past for engineer. HP as an SAP provider move add the insult to the injury. MBA CEOs are killing entrepreneurship and innovation in the name of stability and profit, and when it fail they blame others for their bad decisions. HP Board should put a engineer with vision on charge, someone with inspiring ideas and engineering skills like Jon Rubinstein .

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001



    would that be the same Jon Rubinstein who came over as part of the webOS acquisition and then got exiled to Siberia at HP, which then proceeded to butcher his webOS baby?

    Yeah, they're gonna have to do some serious a.s.s-kissing to get Rubinstein to sign on for that.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    Meg Whitman, GMAFB

    HP has had more than its share of both bad luck and bad decisions over the last several years.

    Apotheker ought to be given the opportunity to see through his vision. Reversing course so suddenly is just going to put HP even further behind the competition, who aren't exactly standing still.

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