HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap

Leo Apotheker's days as HP's CEO look to be over after less than a year at the helm.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

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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