Skip to main content

HP shakes up its board of directors

Hewlett-Packard’s new CEO Leo Apotheker is taking steps to reshape the technology giant: HP has announce that it is bringing on five new members to its board of directors, temporarily increasing the number of seats on its board from 13 to 17. The company expects that, in March, some heads will roll and the size of the board will be reduced again to thirteen members.

“The addition of these new directors will further diversify the outstanding talents and wide-ranging experience that our directors already bring to HP,” said the non-executive chairman of the board Raymond J. Lane, in a statement. “Each is a widely respected and deeply experienced business leader, and together they will provide our board and management team with new insight and perspectives relating to HP’s business and the rapidly changing technology industry.”

The potential new faces on the HP board include former eBay CEO and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, former GE CIO Gary Reiner, former Alcatel-Lucent CEO Patricia Russo, AXA Private Equity leader Dominique Senequier, and Booz & Company CEO Shumeet Banerji. According to HP, current board members Joel Hyatt, John Joyce, Robert Ryan, and Lucille Salhany are not expected to stand for re-election by shareholders.

Industry watchers view the shakeup as a house-cleaning for HP, whose board has come under intensive criticism for the handling of former CEO Mark Hurd’s departure from the company and rapid installment as co-President of Oracle. The board previously took heat years ago over the hiring (and subsequent firing) of CEO Carly Fiorina, along with the expensive acquisition of Compaq. More recently, the board staggered under the weight of a scandal that saw investigators hired by the board using illegal “pretexting” techniques to acquire phone records in an effort to locate information leaks.

The board’s new composition means seven members would be eligible to oversee a possible independent investigation of Mark Hurd’s departure from the company.

The changes also let HP get some new leadership into its boardroom, following the trend new CEO Leo Apotheker has set with the company: Apotheker has already said goodbye to HP’s chief marketing officer and brought in former SAP executive Bill Wohl as chief communications officer.

Editors' Recommendations