The Business On... Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard

 

The comeback queen?

On the verge of being named chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, according to reports last night. Yes, the former eBay boss and failed gubernatorial candidate is about to sip from the poison chalice of tech, taking over the C-suite of the world's largest computer manufacturer.



What about whatshisname?

Leo Apotheker, the blink-and-you'll-miss-him chief executive? In less than a year at the helm, he presided over a 47 per cent share price fall and a strategy review that horrified investors. The rumour that the board was considering firing him sent the shares soaring, and when you find out your chief exec is worth minus-$5bn, you kind of have to fire him. That's two major tech companies he has been fired from in three years (the last one was German software giant SAP).



Why Whitman?

She wanted it. I'm not being facetious – the fractious HP board has a habit of undermining and then firing its CEOs, which makes hiring tough. Ms Whitman joined HP as a non-exec this year, and she is keen to rehabilitate herself after a humiliating run for Governor of California last year.



Humiliating?

Ms Whitman dipped into her $1.3bn fortune to fund the most expensive electoral campaign in history and still lost. Revelations she had an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper rather undermined her anti-illegal immigration stance. One assumes her keenness to get back into business means she no longer hopes for the vice-presidency slot in a Mitt Romney-style White House bid.



Is she qualified to run HP?

Oh, that little matter. Neither was Mr Apotheker, who was a software guy. Ms Whitman at least has a robust CV, including a stint as a consultant at Bain Capital, where she met Mr Romney. She started out in sales at Procter & Gamble and she joined eBay when it had just 30 employees. As for running a hardware company managing a difficult transition to software and services – well, investors will take some convincing.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine