HP ousts Apotheker as CEO

Dylan Bushell-Embling & Michael Carroll
23 Sep 2011

HP's board has replaced CEO Leo Apotheker after less than a year at the helm.

The company late yesterday announced that Meg Whitman, a board member previously responsible for going public with eBay as its CEO, will take over effective immediately.

“The board believes that the job of the HP CEO now requires additional attributes to successfully execute on the company’s strategy,” the company stated.

Apotheker commenced his tenure as CEO in October last year. Some observers have speculated that his ousting is partly down to his perceived failure to develop a convincing mobile strategy.

Whitman has revealed she plans to stick with plans originated under her predecessor, stating the appointment “does not signal a change in the strategy.”

But the future of the WebOS platform is now even more unclear, with an HP WebOS staffer tellingForbes even the unit doesn't know what Whitman's appointment will mean.

HP is considering spinning off its WebOS division, but is rumored to be having second thoughts.

Ovum research fellow Carter Lusher believes the change of guard makes a break-up of the company more likely, as investors will now seek to “unlock the value of the components,” that comprise the current business.

Lusher added that other executives are also likely to follow Apotheker out the door, with many “ready to leave or are already mentally out the door.”

Reuterspoints out that the rest of the board has fallen into disfavor with investors as well.

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