Since September 18th I’ve been saying that Hewlett-Packard needed to get rid of Léo Apotheker sooner rather than later. Well, the deed’s been done and Apotheker’s been shown the door. The trouble is, HP’s board doesn’t seem to have learned their lesson. They’re replacing him with former eBay CEO and would be California governor Meg Whitman, who might even be less qualified than Apotheker to run the ailing tech giant. The announcement of the switch came early this evening, pretty much timed to coincide with the closing of the stock market.
Apotheker’s Troubled Tenure
It wasn’t obvious that Léo Apotheker was a good choice to replace Mark Hurd in the catbird seat at HP last September when it happened, and it has never been obvious since. In fact, it’s never even been obvious that Mr. Hurd’s resignation should’ve been forced to begin with, as the cloud over his head, a charge of sexual harassment, was evidently short on substance. HP’s board, evidently after blood, ignored the fact the he’d put the company on a sound financial footing and had charted a reasonable course for the company to follow, a course that left room for expansion into other areas.
None of this mattered, according to James B.Steward writing in The New York Times, for the bigwigs at HP thought the company to big to fail: