In possibly the worst kept secret in the last 24 hours would be that HP’s board was thinking about removing Leo Apotheker from his role as CEO. As speculated Meg Whitman has been named president and CEO of HP by HP’s board. Ray Lane has been moved from non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors, and he has said, “We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman’s caliber and experience step up to lead HP.”
It’s way too soon to know exactly how quickly things will change over at HP, but Whitman wasn’t made CEO to keep HP on its current route. Whitman official response to the news was, “I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters – it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world.”
One quote from Lane from the press release that stands out to us is, “We are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead.” That quote implies that HP’s board has a clear idea of what HP’s strategy is, even if it seems like no one really knows what exactly HP is going to do. It’s going to take more than just a new CEO to change HP’s current situation.
Press release below:
HP Names Meg Whitman President and Chief Executive Officer
Ray Lane appointed executive chairman; Léo Apotheker steps down as president, chief executive officer and director
PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 22, 2011
HP today announced that its board of directors has appointed Meg Whitman as president and chief executive officer.
In addition, 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.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman’s caliber and experience step up to lead HP,” said Lane. “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.”
Whitman said, “I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters – it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world.”
Speaking on behalf of the board, 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. Meg Whitman has the right operational and communication skills and leadership abilities to deliver improved execution and financial performance.”
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