Even should she decide to remove webOS into industry's Recycle Bin, though salvaging the multi-billion dollar PC and tablet group, she still has to contend with the albeit-smaller multi-billion disaster that webOS was.
The $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm led to HP owning its own mobile operating system. But as the TouchPad flopped in the first month of it going on sale, the former chief executive took the decision only a fortnight later to pull the plug on the entire division that made the ill-fated tablet.
Though HP has its roots in hardware, Apotheker spun off the PC and tablet group and left its employees in indefinite hiatus. Whitman already un-spun the decision to mark her territory as the new chief, paving the way for a second 'positive' decision to bring the company back on track.
By gaining the marketshare traction that it did, it effectively gave the green-light for HP to continue selling the product. Why stick with one HP TouchPad when users can fall into the usual upgrading fray, and buy a newer, updated model a year down the line?
In giving HP carte blanche to continue with its somewhat backwards success, the TouchPad brand in itself may have been tarnished, but its unexpected popularity can be continued.
Outcome 2: HP ditches webOS
Whitman can go with Apotheker's flow and decide to ditch the unit.
But the company is sitting on a cash cow of patents, intellectual property, and beyond all else, a functioning mobile operating system. It could strip out the bits it doesn't need, license off the rest to others, or sell along patents and other fragments of gold bricks it has at its disposal. It could generate billions; money that HP would need to seek and find a new venture to focus its efforts on.
It is likely that Whitman will want to break away from her disgraced predecessor and want to set her own agenda, rather than taking pointers from the ousted former chief executive.
Should she reverse both decisions by Apotheker, giving life back to HP's PC and tablet group and leasing life in webOS, the company will be almost back to where it started over a year ago: in trouble.