Aaron Ricadela and Carol Hymowitz reporting for Bloomberg on rumors that current HP CEO Leo Apotheker is on his way out:
Whitman, who joined Hewlett-Packard’s board in January after a failed bid to become California’s governor last year, had a mixed record at EBay. As CEO for a decade, she took the company public and pioneered online commerce for small businesses. Yet she also failed to halt a slowdown in revenue growth and overpaid for Skype Technologies SA after a three-way bidding war with Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc.
She wouldn’t be my pick to run any company, here’s a better post about Whitman from a New York Times blog post in 2008 that states two important things:
There has also long been grumbling that Ms. Whitman made eBay too corporate, taking it too far from its countercultural roots. The old eBay had a lot of Mr. Omidyar’s personality — eBay’s quirky, colorful logo, its designer once told me, was intended to have “a little bit of the ponytail about it.”
It’s difficult to quarrel with Ms. Whitman’s financial success over the past decade. EBay went from $4 million in annual revenue in to nearly $ 8 billion today. The stock has risen 5,600 percent, and Ms. Whitman herself became a billionaire along the way, ranked # 261 on Forbes’ 2007 list of the wealthiest Americans.
Remember that was written in 2008. The first item, the corporate culture, is exactly what HP does not need. The second, the financial success, that is what HP needs. From everything I have read about Whitman, she is not the one to run HP — even on an interim basis. Again from what I know she is the ‘adult supervision’ type, not the innovative turn this ship around type.