Official: HP Apotheker out, Witman in - PC Retail

Official: HP Apotheker out, Witman in

Board says: Strategy fine, Leo just couldn't communicate
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HP confirmed that the IT giant's board of directors has ousted 11-month CEO Leo Apotheker and appointed ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

A Bloomberg report said that Whitman would continue the strategy as recently laid out by Apotheker including the $10.3 billion acquisition of British software house Autonomy.

The move has been greeted with a good deal of skepticism from analysts with some pointing out that Witman has no experience of an IT-based company nor of a company with three quarters of the business in the enterprise sector.

"While I don’t have years of experience in an enterprise business, I bought a lot of software," Whitman said.

"That’s like saying, ‘I’ve bought an iPhone, so I can run Apple Inc," commented Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore.

HP's share price collapsed after the firm revealed poor financial results and a set of radical changes including killing off the WebOS hardware business and signaling an intention to dispose of the firm's PC business.

The HP board had concerns about Apotheker's 'ability to communicate'. Whitman is now HP's seventh CEO in the last twelve years. 

The decision to dispose of the PC business has previously been suggested by New York Times sources as under review but nothing further was added in announcing the management change of guard, potentially meaning that the fate of the world's largest PC-making business could be Whitman's opportunity to break with Apotheker's strategy.

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