by Anton Shilov
09/22/2011 | 04:11 PM
Hewlett-Packard on Thursday announced that its board of directors has appointed Meg Whitman, ex-head of Ebay, as president and chief executive officer. Leo Apotheker steps down from his positions following disappointments of the board of directors.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman’s caliber and experience step up to lead HP. We are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead. Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution. She is a strong communicator who is customer focused with deep leadership capabilities. Furthermore, as a member of HP’s board of directors for the past eight months, Meg has a solid understanding of our products and markets,” said Ray Lane, the chairman of HP.
Ray Lane has moved from non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors, and the board intends to appoint a lead independent director promptly. These leadership appointments are effective immediately and follow the decision that Léo Apotheker step down as president and chief executive officer and resign as a director of the company.
“I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters – it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world,” said Mrs. Whitman.
Based on unofficial information, the board of directors was disappointed with Mr. Apotheker’s decisions to spin-off PC business unit, acquire Autonomy company and re-focus HP to higher-margin service and enterpris businesses. Officially, though, the decisions are not going to be reverted.
“We very much appreciate Léo’s efforts and his service to HP since his appointment last year. The board believes that the job of the HP CEO now requires additional attributes to successfully execute on the company’s strategy. Meg Whitman has the right operational and communication skills and leadership abilities to deliver improved execution and financial performance,” said Mr. Lane.
Meg Whitman joined Ebay in March, 1998, when it had staff of 30 and revenues of approximately $4 million. During her time as chief executive officer, the company grew to approximately 15 000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue by 2008.