HP Plots a CEO Ouster
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