HP changes leadership, Apotheker out, Meg Whitman in
The company is struggling to regain investor confidence.
Leo Apotheker is out and Meg Whitman is in, according to computer giant, Hewlett Packard (HP). HP announced the change today, replacing Apotheker as CEO after less than a year on the job.
Leo Apotheker has been replaced by Meg Whitman as the head of HP.
HP's board says the company needed a change in leadership after disappointing results during Apotheker's tenure.
Shareholders have been disappointed with HP for some time, losing 40% of their stock price in the months leading to today. Ray Lane, the new executive chairman of the board said, "We are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead."
That strategy has been in flux for several weeks after Apotheker announced that he was moving HP out of hardware development and into more lucrative endeavors in software and cloud computing.
Apotheker's decision should have come as little surprise. HP's much anticipated TouchPad failed entirely, while HP's phones and other hardware lost ground to Apple. Global PC sales slowed, and HP began to cast about for a new strategy. Apotheker announced that strategy recently, and he appeared to be the right leader for the job. Apotheker's previous experience is in software design.
However, the board had problems with Apotheker. Lane said Apotheker didn't lack vision, but he lacked communication and execution.
Now, Meg Whitman, former CEO of E-Bay and California gubernatorial candidate, will take over the company. She reinforced Apotheker's plan as the one she intended to follow. She said HP would remain on course and that her goal was to regain investor confidence.
HP has had a tumultuous past. The company's previous two CEOs have been ousted after episodes of controversy and confidence, and it's expensive. In addition to losing investor confidence and share price, the company has had to pay severance pay to its former CEOs. Apotheker will leave HP with a $25 million package. Combined with previous ousters, the company has had to pay out more than $83 million to sacked leaders.
It remains to be seen what Whitman will do for HP, but she has a strong record of success. Only time will tell if her future with HP is long and successful, or short, and expensive.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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