HP has named former eBay CEO and 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman as president and CEO effective immediately, the company announced today.
Whitman, an Atherton resident, replaces Leo Apotheker, who departs after less than a year on the job.
In a statement, the HP board said Whitman, who herself joined the HP board eight months ago, possesses "additional attributes" to help the company execute its strategy.
"We are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead," said Ray Lane, executive chairman of the board.
"Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution. She is a strong communicator who is customer focused with deep leadership capabilities."
Lane said board members "very much appreciate" Apotheker's efforts since he joined the company last year.
"I am honored and excited to lead HP," Whitman said. "I believe HP matters -- it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world."
The company's board met Wednesday and today to consider replacing Apotheker, whose 11-month tenure has seen a more than 40 percent drop in the company's share price.
Investor confidence further weakened last month when the company announced a major strategy shift, saying it would spin off its personal computer business, discontinue its new tablet products and acquire the British software company Autonomy Corp.
Six of the company's 14 board members are new to the board this year.
Apotheker was appointed to head HP last Sept. 30, replacing Mark Hurd. Hurd resigned in August 2010 after the company said it found discrepancies in his expense reporting and investigated sexual harassment allegations against him.