HP fires Apotheker, appoints former eBay head Meg Whitman as CEO

Hewlett-Packard (HP) yesterday appointed former head of eBay Meg Whitman as president and chief executive to turn around the world's largest computer maker that has recently come under fire from investors for management blunders.

Whitman, 55, will be replacing Leo Apotheker, who was appointed after Mark Hurd was forced to resign in an ethics scandal, making her the third CEO of HP in less than a year.

With Apotheker less than 11 months at the helm of HP, sales forecasts at the computer giant were cut three times and restructuring was announced that invited ire of investors.

The board of HP has in the recent past come under close scrutiny after its ex chairman Pattie Dunn got embroiled in a spying case, where she hired an investigation firm to spy on the company's directors.

The company came under fire from shareholders for hiring Apotheker, a former CEO at German business software firm SAP, who did not have requisit experience in handling a company of HP's size and product range.

Ray Lane, who was yesterday made executive chairman of HP in a board shuffle, said, ''We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman's calibre 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.''