HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

Summary: Leo Apotheker's days as HP's CEO look to be over after less than a year at the helm.

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Can Meg Whitman do what Leo Apotheker couldn’t for HP?

Looks like we may find out fairly soon. Kara Swisher at AllThingsD is reporting that former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is being considered by HP's board as a replacement for Leo Apotheker.

This swap isn't a done deal, but just the fact that multiple sources are telling Swisher that Whitman is an option indicates Apotheker's days may be numbered. Bloomberg is also reporting that Apotheker, who took over at HP on Sept. 30, 2010, is close to getting the boot.

Whitman has the chops since she ran eBay, which was a large organization. It also doesn't hurt that Whitman has worked at Procter & Gamble, Disney and as a consultant at Bain.

HP could clearly use a whiteboard and some strategic thinking from an outsider. Apotheker's missteps are numerous. Here's the short recap:

Add it up and the Apotheker era hasn't been a good one for HP and the board looks like it wants to start anew even though changing CEOs after just a few months is very embarrassing. The largest question for HP is this: What exactly does the company stand for? Today, HP is sort of an IBM-lite as it tries to do hardware and software while ditching low margin businesses like PCs. Who knows what Whitman will do.

On the bright side, at least Apotheker's tenure will have lasted longer than the TouchPad---but not by much.

Investors liked the idea of Apotheker leaving HP.

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Topics: CXO, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Legal

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44 comments
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  • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

    Tell Bartz I said "hi"!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

    Really ! Good for HP !
    shivanand_k@...
  • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

    They should't have fired Mark Hurd in the first place. It was a very very costly mistake for HP.
    owlnet
    • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

      Firing Mark Hurd was a big mistake. Hiring this tool in the first place was even a bigger mistake. Only deciding to get rid of him now after letting him screw the company up is the biggest mistake. The only thing worse would be to let the jackass run the company even longer and completely drive it into the ground; nonetheless lots of damage done.

      Hope they get their shit straight soon, HP servers still rock :)
      Scratchi
      • Ahem

        @Scratchi Compaq servers have always rocked! At least HP left them alone to do what they do best.
        happyharry_z
    • Actually...

      @owlnet
      ...Hurd should never have been hired. The board then compounded the mistake by keeping him on after it was clear that he had no real plan for the company, other than layoffs, offshoring, and serial acquisitions.
      John L. Ries
      • I agree. No vision, no leadership.

        @John L. Ries
        otaddy
    • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

      Hurd deserved to be fired for raw stupidity. He hired what what basically a high priced call girl to do "marketing" at $5000 a function, then tried to hide the fact he used company money to wine and dine her afterwards. What Fortune 100 president wants it dragging through the news over and over they were at a function where they were "marketed to" by a hooker who's filing a harassment suit? As long as Hurd was president HP would be the company that uses hookers for marketing. Ellison always had the morals of a gutter rat so he doesn't give a damn and snapped the damaged goods right up.
      kstone@...
    • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

      @owlnet
      in your dreams. you are crediting hurd for something done by her predecessor. try merging companies with everybody stabbing at every part of your body...
      kc63092@...
    • All of HP failure decisions now were done by media/Wall street dear Mark ..

      @owlnet: ... Hurd. Apotheker allowed this whole useless Palm/WebOS thing to continue, but he had to kill it, seeing how this is going to bring HP down with billions of losses each quarter.
      DDERSSS
  • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

    If they wouldn't fire Mark Turd, HP Services wouldn't exist anymore today and company would fully concentrate on trying to become another apple-wannabe. Leo is right in what's he doing, just cleaning up crap left by his predecessor is not so easy
    Mr Wrong
    • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

      @Mr Wrong

      Telling PSR that they're on their own but that by executive fiat he's nixing their latest product has nothing to do with Hurd.

      Confusing half the people on mainstreet into thinking HP was going to stop making computers during the peak of back-to-school season has nothing to do with Hurd.

      Hurd ravaged an already hacked apart R&D making it exceedingly difficult for HP to produce new products competitive on anything besides price. You can pin the first few poor performing quarters on Leo's reign on Hurd easily enough. All the nonsense since mid-August are all on Leo, though.
      tkejlboom
      • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

        @tkejlboom
        amen to that!
        kc63092@...
    • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

      @Mr Wrong and Meg ****man would most likely take the path of Mark Turd. No thanks.
      Champ_Kind
  • The whole lot needs to go

    The HP Board is responsible for firing Hurd and hiring Apotheker. Yes. they need to dump the latest mistake, but then the entire board needs to be replaced as well. The stockholders have been totally robbed, and the BoD bears all the responsibility for it.
    terry flores
    • Exactly...this is where the problem lies

      @terry flores These fools somehow found people dumber than themselves and gave them the top slot.

      They would have had better luck just picking someone at random from one of their lower level, fork and spoon operator employees.
      otaddy
    • RE: HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

      @terry flores I agree...the entire board HAS to go. Meg Whitman...really? I would say something bad here but I am afraid she would come to my house and hit me.
      the.other.james.bond
  • Apoplectic

    Heh. At least one of the articles out there says that the Board is "revisiting" the decision to spin off the PC business. If they decide to keep it, will they re-launch the TouchPad?

    There is no truth to the rumor that if Whitman gets the job, HP will move to selling PCs on its web site by auction.
    Robert Hahn
  • The board is at fault. First Fiorina, then Hurd, then this asshat?

    Strike 3 for the board<br> Those of you who opposed at least 2 of the 3 can stay. The rest OUT! How about HP actually invents something again for a change?
    Johnny Vegas
    • A new board can be appointed...

      @Johnny Vegas
      ..,by bringing back any directors removed for opposing a major initiative of at least one of the last three CEOs. Elect Walter Hewlett (who loudly opposed the Compaq merger) chairman.
      John L. Ries