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HP confirms former eBay chief Meg Whitman will replace Léo Apotheker as CEO

Warwick Ashford

HP has named Meg Whitman as its new chief executive officer, confirming speculation that the former eBay chief would replace Léo Apotheker.

The move follows a recent shake-up at HP when Apotheker announced the company was to sell its market-leading PC business.

The company also announced last month that it was to ditch its TouchPad tablet range and acquire UK software company Autonomy for £7.1bn.

At the time, Apotheker said the decision to dump the PC business and TouchPad were part of a strategic shift to focus on higher-margin businesses such as cloud computing and software.

HP's board also appointed Meg Whitman as company president and moved Ray Lane from non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors.

The board intends to appoint a lead independent director promptly, HP said.

"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," HP said.

Lane said the company was at a critical moment and needed renewed leadership to implement 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," he said.

Speaking on behalf of the board, Ray Lane said: "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."

Whitman has the right operational and communication skills and leadership abilities to deliver improved execution and financial performance, said Lane.


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