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Meg Whitman appointed chief executive of HP; Leo Apotheker ousted

It's official -- Meg  Whitman is now the chief executive of HP, and Leo Apotheker is out after just 10 months.

The board of directors announced its decision to oust Apotheker and install Whitman after the stock market closed on Thursday.  The statement from the company also said Raymond J. Lane, a partner at Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, would become the board's executive chairman.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman’s caliber and experience step up to lead HP,” Lane said in a statement. “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 note also seemed to address concerns that Whitman's experience as the long-time CEO of EBay Inc., an online commerce firm, might not fully qualify her to run a global hardware firm.

"As a member of HP’s board of directors for the past eight months, Meg has a solid understanding of our products and markets,” Lane said.

Lane's statement also briefly addressed Apotheker's ouster, saying: "The board believes that the job of the HP CEO now requires additional attributes to successfully execute on the company’s strategy."


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-- David Sarno

Photo: Ousted HP chief executive Leo Apotheker and new CEO Meg Whitman. Credit: Mal Langsdon and Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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