The Hewlett-Packard board of directors named Meg Whitman its president and CEO Thursday, ousting Leo Apotheker after 11 months on the job.
“I am honored and excited to lead HP,” Whitman said in a statement. “I believe HP matters — it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world.
Formerly CEO of eBay, Whitman returns to the tech world after a highly publicized and expensive 2010 campaign for governor of California. As the self-financed Republican nominee, she spent nearly $116 million dollars — the highest ever in the state’s history — yet lost to Democrat Jerry Brown.
As CEO of eBay, Whitman displayed a deft savvy, taking the company from a Silicon Valley startup in 1998 to a multi-billion dollar online retailer by the time she left the company in 2008.
HP has gone through three CEOs in the past five years and has struggled to keep up with rival computer manufacturers. During Apotheker’s tenure as CEO, stocks fell 44 percent after a series of unpopular decisions, including the spin-off of the company’s PC division.
Whitman had been rebuilding her corporate portfolio after being routed in the gubernatorial race, joining the board of HP in January. (RELATED: LightSquared promotes technical solutions as Republicans pile on)
“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 HP Chairman Ray Lane.
“Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution,” he said. “She is a strong communicator who is customer focused with deep leadership capabilities. Furthermore, as a member of HP’s board of directors for the past eight months, Meg has a solid understanding of our products and markets.”