HP Hires Former eBay Head Meg Whitman As CEO

Hewlett-Packard has announced Meg Whitman is its new CEO — the fourth in the last six years. Before running for governor of California last year, she was the head of eBay. Whitman takes the reins as HP's market value falters and it weighs whether to shed its PC business.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

In this country, Hewlett Packard is going through its own upheaval. The board fired the CEO and has replaced him with former eBay executive Meg Whitman. NPR's Ben Bergman has more.

BEN BERGMAN: HP was in the PC business, then it wasn't. It introduced a tablet, then abruptly stopped making it. All this apparent seesawing hammered HP stock, with analysts using words like circus to describe the company. Still, HP remains the biggest technology company in the world by sales. Whitman got rich running eBay and spent a lot of that money running for California governor last year. Forrester's Frank Gillett says Whitman won't have to do too much on-the-job training because she's already on the HP board. She also has experience running a large tech company, but?

FRANK GILLETT: She doesn't bring any experience that we can easily see at understanding the large enterprise, customers, the big government customers of HP and what their challenges are, nor does she seem to have particular experience in understanding all the technologies that those companies buy.

BERGMAN: What Whitman can do, Gillett says, is use her communications and leadership skills to try to reassure Wall Street that the company is on the right track. Ben Bergman, NPR News, Los Angeles.

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