Whitman, who is an experienced digital exec, has a daunting task before her, as HP seeks to right itself after a series of strategic gaffes, disappointing financial results and, worst of all perhaps, a stock that has dropped 47 percent since Apotheker has been in charge.
The board of HP, which has had its own series of blunders in recent years, is hoping Whitman can help turn that around, especially as its competitors — such as Oracle, IBM and others — increase the pressure.
Among those strategic gaffes: Killing the WebOS-powered TouchPad after just six weeks after its launch, buying Autonomy for $10 billion, and looking to spin off the company’s PC division.
The move comes just a day after word came that HP’s board was discussing replacing current Apotheker with Whitman. At the time, Bloomberg said Whitman might serve on an interim basis, but in the end Whitman’s taken the job without an exit date.
HP has struggled since Apotheker took over just 11 months ago. Dropping sales forecasts and shifts in strategy have left many shareholders with doubts about his capabilities. The company’s stock price has dropped 47 percent while he’s occupied the CEO’s office.
He’s sure to get a paltry severance package. Ha. CNBC’s Herb Greenberg figures Apotheker will leave with:
- At least $9.4 million, including his relocation benefits and signing bonuses.
- Severance of $2.4 million
- Average bonus received while at HP, paid over 18 months
- His stock grants, without strings