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Employment

HP Plots a CEO Ouster

1:25 PM -- HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) CEO Leo Apotheker may not make it to his one-year anniversary at the struggling company. According to Bloomberg sources, HP's board will meet soon to discuss ousting Apotheker from his leadership role.

This shouldn't come as a surprise following his decision to all but kill off HP's mobile devices unit and webOS hardware, a move HP is currently being sued for. Even before this, however, Apotheker had cut sales forecast for the company three times and saw HP's stock dip 47 percent during his short tenure. (See HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz, OS Watch: Windows Phone Races for the Bronze and HP: Tablet Effect Is Real.)

Bloomberg and AllThingsD report that former eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) CEO Meg Whitman may fill Apotheker's CEO slot.

HP is in dire need of a fresh start and a new face to drive a turnaround. The company lost its identity as quickly as it lost its market share, and it doesn't appear to have ever really tried. Palm lasted 16 months and the TouchPad lasted a measly 49 days (give or take a fire sale). HP should have given those products more time, but HP's board may be justified if it ends up giving Apotheker the heave-ho after a brief nine-month reign. (See Making Sense of HP's Mobile Mess and HP Brings TouchPad Back From the Dead.)

But, even with a new leader at the helm, it won't be an easy recovery. Most of the potential bidders for its webOS division have shot down the possibility, and HP's computer and mobile device business isn't turning heads either. (See OS Watch: Samsung Disses webOS and OS Watch: Who Wants WebOS?)

I'm not sure if Whitman is the best fit to lead HP, but my hope is the company picks a CEO that won't give up at the drop of a hat and has a clear picture of what HP should be when it grows up -- two traits Apotheker lacked.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:53:01 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

I wasn't even sure what kind of company to call them. I guess enterprise software is what they're going for now?

-0 12/5/2012 | 4:53:00 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

"expensive printer ink" company :-)

Duh! 12/5/2012 | 4:52:59 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

"HP, a once-great, now dying company".


Very, very sad. Bill and Dave must be turning over in their coffins.

myhui 12/5/2012 | 4:52:58 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

Agilent was indeed a very competent part of HP. Without Agilent, what's left is not really HP anymore but a modernized version of a former workstation company like Apollo or Sun.


miles4000 12/5/2012 | 4:52:58 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

I don't care what you call it, as long as they bring back webOS hardware.

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 4:52:58 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

>Very, very sad. Bill and Dave must be turning over in their coffins.


I think their souls went with Agilent, not the "expensive printer ink" part of the firm.

raid 12/5/2012 | 4:52:57 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

The entire HP board can do themselves a huge favor and resign. They have demostrated an un-canny ability to screw up at every opportunity. 

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:52:56 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

Stevery,


I am always amazed at the passivity of institutional investors.


seven


 

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 4:52:56 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

Look at the last paragraph of that article: How did it let things get to this? That, at the very least, should be the subject for inquiry by yet another committee.


Anyone else having a good laugh?


This is where the large shareholders (funds) need to come together and fire each and every board member for running a multibillion dollar company like a high-school newpaper.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:52:56 PM
re: HP Plots a CEO Ouster

The NYT agrees with you. This is an interesting read on the HP board: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/business/voting-to-hire-a-chief-without-meeting-him.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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