The last 12 months for HP has been an annus horribilis
former head of eBay.
HP has announced that Léo Apotheker, its under-fire CEO, has
resigned and in his place will come former eBay CEO, Meg Whitman. Whitman has
been a member of the HP’s board for the past eight months and will have seen the
company go through a rather traumatic change.
As well as Whitman coming in, Ray Lane has been announced as the new
executive chairman of the board of directors. In a statement, Lane said: “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.”
Rumours of Apotheker’s demise have been circulating for a
number of days and whether the decision to resign was made on his own is open
to debate, but in an email to staff prior to his departure, he was in an upbeat
and non-bitter mood:
“On a personal level, I cannot begin to express the
admiration I have for all of you – and what you have accomplished together.
Over the past year, we were tasked with developing a strategic vision for HP
and I know we have made important contributions to the company’s future.”
In their first memo to staff, Whitman and Lane said: “First
let us say that we are true believers in the future of HP. We have always had
enormous respect for HP and its well-earned iconic status as one of the most
important technology companies in the world. We look forward to working with
you as we take HP to the next level.”
Many questions still remain about the future of HP. Will it sell
off its PC business? Will it continue to support webOS? Will it be able to
regain ground lost to rivals? Are Whitman and Lane the answer to HP’s problem?
We will only find out these answers in the coming months and
years but surely the next 12 months can’t be as bad as the last 12…..surely.