That extremely relaxed-looking woman in the photo is HP’s new CEO and president, Meg Whitman, who replaced Léo Apotheker today. In the words of Ray Lane (who jumped from non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors today), “We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman’s caliber and experience step up to lead HP,” said Lane. “We are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead. Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution.”

Whitman has her work cut out for her, as HP’s year has been a tough one. After losing CEO Mark Hurd over some nebulous sex scandal, board member shuffles, and an exodus of brain trust, replacement CEO Leo Apotheker (who was the target of some suspicion over filling board positions with buddies) wreaked havoc with the finances while making enemies out of Microsoft and Oracle by suggesting HP may use its own operating system in its PCs (which they never did). What he may be remembered for more is the acquisition of Palm, the creation of the ill-fated and hardly-purchased TouchPad using WebOS, and then shutting it down completely after only a month of lousy sales.

Whitman said, “I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters – it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world.” We’ll see whether or not, at this troubled juncture in HP’s history, Whitman can ensure it continues to matter.

Source: The Loop

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