HP expands board, looks for more directors for its 'turnaround'

After losing its chair and two directors, HP has brought on another three board members and is on the hunt for more.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has extended its board of directors from nine members to 12, appointing former executives from Liberty Media Corporation, Microsoft, and McDonald's.

The company now welcomes former Liberty Media CEO Robert "Dob" Bennett, former Microsoft chief software architect Raymond Ozzie, and former McDonald's CEO James Skinner.

In April this year, the company saw the loss of John Hammergren, Ken Thompson, and HP board chairman Ray Lane stepped down from the position, although he remains on the board. Ralph Whitworth has stepped into the position in the interim while the company looks for a replacement. Whitworth described the changes as a "Herculean turnaround", and had indicated that in addition to a replacement chair, the company will seek at least two directors before the end of the year.

"We could not be more pleased with the calibre of these new board members, and the incredible range of experiences that they bring. Their willingness to serve also testifies to the credibility and progress of our own turnaround. We are confident that these executives will hit the ground running as the board works to provide world-class corporate governance and support of Meg and her team's enormous turnaround efforts," Whitworth wrote on the company's blog, referring to HP president and CEO Meg Whitman.

This does not appear to be the end of HP's additions to its board, with Whitworth saying that the company is continuing to look for more board members, including a replacement chair.

Whitman also believes the three new additions to the board will help contribute to the company's turnaround.

"For their part, Dob, Ray, and Jim have just about seen it all during their careers. I'm very grateful for their support, as well as the ongoing support from all of the directors," she said in a statement.

According to HP, Bennett will become a member of its Finance and Investment Committee and Audit Committee; Ozzie will join its Technology Committee and the Finance and Investment Committee; and Skinner will join its Audit, HR and Compensation, and Nominating and Governance committees.

HP's bottom line has been suffering recently, with the company seeing its PC sales struggling against Dell's in its second-quarter financial results. It has led the company to restructure to help pick its earnings back up, and expanded its pursuit into big data in the Asia-Pacific region, but some analysts are concerned that this has occurred too late.

Nevertheless, the company has been able to secure work to the tune of US$3.45 billion with the US Navy, and Whitman has continued to state that "HP is here to stay".

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