HP’s rumored change in leadership could happen sooner than we thought. According to "multiple sources" quoted by AllThingsD, HP will announce the replacement of CEO Leo Apotheker with former eBay chief Meg Whitman later today, right after markets close.
Interestingly, it’s said Whitman will take over as CEO permanently—not in an interim capacity. The Wall Street Journal named Whitman yesterday as a potentially reluctant candidate for an interim CEO position. Perhaps that reluctance was about the "interim" part of the job title. AllThingsD cites one of its sources as saying, "Meg is not someone who wants to be a steward of a process to find another CEO for HP . . . She wants to run the company and be a strong leader for what she considers an important tech powerhouse."
None of this is official just yet, though. AllThingsD notes that HP’s board has yet to vote, and the situation "could certainly change."
HP could definitely do a lot worse than Whitman. Last year, she ranked eighth in the Harvard Business Review’s list of the 100 best-performing CEOs, behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and ahead of Google’s Eric Schmidt. However, eBay and HP are very different businesses. As AllThingsD points out, Whitman lacks experience with the hardware and enterprise markets in which HP is so deeply wedged. Maybe her experience at eBay will help her find a buyer for HP’s PC unit, though.