The former eBay chief executive and failed California gubernatorial candidate will replace Léo Apotheker, who oversaw a stock drop of 47 percent while in charge. Whitman was added to the company’s board at the start of the year amid grumbling about leadership dysfunction. As the New York Times reported today, when Apotheker was hired, almost no one on the company’s board had met him, just one of many missteps that led a former Hewlett–Packard director to call it “the worst board in the history of business.” Whitman will be charged with overcoming a group of directors “rife with animosities, suspicion, distrust, personal ambitions and jockeying for power.” One source concluded, “The company is coming apart at the seams.” In addition to the CEO swap, HP announced today that Ray Lane would become executive chairman of the board of directors. “We are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead,” the company said in a statement. Good luck to everyone involved.
This post has been updated with additional information.