After just 11 months at HP’s helm, Leo Apotheker might be about to get the axe. At least, that’s what the Wall Street Journal is saying, quoting unofficial reports from folks with knowledge of the situation.
The nameless informants claim that HP’s board convened yesterday to discuss Apotheker’s possible ouster. Word is that the board hasn’t chosen a replacement yet, but former eBay head Meg Whitman could take over as interim CEO if Apotheker does depart. Whitman is a member of the HP board right now.
The Journal points out that HP’s stock climbed 11.7% yesterday after news of Apotheker’s possible departure broke. I think that says all there is to say about Apotheker’s popularity. His tenure has seen HP make some, er, puzzling moves, leading its stock price to plunge from $42 (on the day he took over) to just $22 before word of his departure got out.
HP’s recent missteps are too numerous to list here, but the Wall Street Journal did a rather nice job in its scathing piece, "HP’s One-year Plan." Highlights include dropping webOS like a hot potato weeks after the TouchPad’s debut, announcing the sale of the company’s PC business before having found a buyer, missing financial estimates twice, and blowing through "billions of dollars in cash reserves."