Hewlett-Packard is on the cusp of naming former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman as its new CEO. The former Republican candidate for governor of California will replace current CEO Leo Apotheker. HP is preparing to make the announcement today after markets close. Whitman joined HP’s board earlier this year and reports say that there have been discussions throughout the week about Apotheker’s dismissal.
Apotheker has served as CEO for only 11 months and HP’s market value was cut almost in half during his reign. The company itself, apart from its technology products, is known mostly in the industry among its abrupt CEO departures and problematic team of executives. How could you forget Apotheker’s predecessor Mark Hurd’s dismissal for his relationship with a contractor? Or former CEO Carly Fiorina’s scandal where private investigators got their hands on improperly accessed phone records and information about board members and reporters?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apotheker led a revamp of HP to split off or sell its personal-computer business and spend $10.3 billion to acquire U.K. software company Autonomy Corp. He got the approval of the board for the decision but HP stocks saw a major decline. However, shares skyrocketed on Wednesday when rumors came out that Apotheker may be on his way out. In Thursday afternoon trading, shares of HP fell 5 percent to $22.84.
Who knows how Whitman will fair as new CEO? Her previous corporate background is impressive, however all sorts of secrets about her life came up through the wood work during her candidacy. We’ll continue to report any updates.