Hewlett-Packard Co.'s decision to fire CEO Leo Apotheker after just 11 months and replace him with former eBay chief Meg Whitman is another dizzying turn of the executive merry-go-round at a company whose leadership issues are tearing it apart.
Swapping Apotheker, who has now been ousted from two high-profile CEO jobs in two years, with Whitman, a billionaire who is best known for the decade she spent building eBay and her run for California governor, is a decision designed to stem investor fury over a series of questionable strategy moves.
Whitman's star-power could be an asset for a company that struggled to gain credibility under Apotheker, who was previously little-known outside of the business software world. HP is no stranger to celebrity CEOs. But Carly Fiorina's run as leading lady, from 1999 to 2005, ended in shambles.
Despite Whitman's success at eBay, she is untested when it comes to running a sprawling company such as HP. Full article
On a conference call today in which Whitman and HP Chairman Ray Lane spoke, one analyst suggested that investors have obviously lost confidence in the company's board. Lane gave the following emotional response:
"I'm going to give you an answer right from my heart. It's going to come right directly from my heart.
"In January I added five board members to this board. This is not the board that was around for pretexting. This is not the board that fired Mark Hurd. This is not the board that did everything you want to write about that the press writes about every day. It's just like open season to write about this board. It's not this board."