Former eBay CEO and former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman may be on deck for the top slot at Hewlett-Packard, if anonymous sources are correct.
The report stems from the tech site AllThingsD, which cites credible individuals close to the matter in a post. The move is not said to be a “done deal” by any stretch of the imagination, but the site says Whitman has been considering transitioning back to a role like the HP CEO spot- and that the company’s board has been trying to reverse its fortunes after a year during which its stock has tanked a scary 43%.
Current CEO Léo Apotheker has been at the post for about a year, but the company has had a run of bad luck in recent months. AllThingsD cites a suit against HP filed earlier this month in US District Court in Central California surrounding the company’s handling of the discontinuation of webOS software:
“HP shareholder named Richard Gammel alleged that comments by CEO Léo Apotheker — concerning the company’s earnings expectations, the importance of its personal computer business and plans to move ahead with devices running the webOS operating system — gave a vastly different indication of actions HP took on Aug. 18, when it killed the webOS hardware business and announced plans to spin off the PC business and spend $10 billion to acquire Autonomy.”
In addition to stock losses and the webOS problems, the company also had to lay off 100,000 workers in the Palm division. Prior to Apotheker’s appointment, former CEO Mark Hurd resigned under pressure after a sexual harassment investigation as well as various accusations about expense reports related to the claim. The board found no evidence to support the harassment claims.
Neither HP nor Whitman have acknowledged or commented upon the rumor.