目前正值惠普的关键时期。惠普公司一直在艰难地摸索未来的发展方向。8月中旬，公司宣布对业务进行大幅战略调整，包括以103亿美元价格收购软件公司Autonomy Corp.，撤销TouchPad平板电脑业务，并决定出售或剥离硬件部门。换句话说，此次调整计划将剥离2002年并购的康柏电脑（Compaq Computer）业务。虽然该并购当时备受争议，却帮助惠普一跃成为科技行业的巨头。
而惠特曼又能为惠普带来什么？现年55岁的惠特曼长期在硅谷打拼，是一位经验丰富的高管，而且她在今年年初成为惠普公司董事，对公司也非常了解。惠特曼曾在贝恩公司（Bain & Co.）、迪士尼（Disney）、宝洁公司（Procter & Gamble）和孩之宝公司（Hasbro）任职，并在1998年至2008年期间，一直担任eBay公司总裁兼CEO。最初，eBay只是一家仅有30名员工，收入仅为470万美元的小型电子商务初创公司，后来之所以能够成为拥有15,000名员工，收入约80亿美元的行业巨头，惠特曼居功至伟。【惠特曼曾入选2004年与2005年《财富》最具影响力商界女性（Fortune's Most Powerful Woman in Business）榜单。】她后来离开了eBay，加入了竞选加利福尼亚州州长一职的激烈竞争，但最终未能如愿胜出。
Hewlett-Packard's board is weighing a shakeup that would include replacing its current CEO Leo Apotheker after barely a year on the job, according to a person familiar with the matter. The troubled technology giant plans to offer the top spot to former eBay boss Meg Whitman. Whitman is a current HP director and a strategic advisor at Kleiner Perkins.
The situation appears to be fluid; HP's (HPQ) board plans to meet this afternoon. When reached for comment, an HP spokesperson decline to say anything about the matter. HP's stock jumped on the news, up around 8% to 24.24.
The move would come at a pivotal time for HP, which has struggled to find a path forward. In mid-August, the company announced a vast planned overhaul of its business, agreeing to buy software maker Autonomy Corp. for $10.3 billion, canceling its TouchPad tablet and deciding whether to sell or spin-off its hardware division. The plan, in other words, called for the unraveling of the much-debated 2002 merger with Compaq Computer that helped turn HP into a technology behemoth.
Since taking over in November 2010, Apotheker has faced his share of reversals. A mere five months before announcing the latest plan, he had touted the company's WebOS tablet operating system and promised it would ship with every Hewlett-Packard computer as well as a robust line of phones and tablet computers. In August, he pulled an abrupt about-face, announcing the cancellation of HP's TouchPad tablet and the effective discontinuation of WebOS, which it got as part of a $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm last year.
Such moves might have been expected given Apotheker's resume. In putting the former CEO of German software giant SAP (SAP) in charge, HP's board effectively asked an executive with enterprise software expertise to go toe-to-toe in the low-margin PC business, not to mention a high-risk play to outflank Apple (AAPL) in smartphones and tablets. Apotheker's moves to divest in both businesses came when PC sales slowed and the tablet failed to catch on.
What would HP get in Whitman? A seasoned executive with a long history in Silicon Valley -- not to mention one familiar with the company. Whitman, 55, has been an HP director since early this year. After stints at Bain & Co., Disney (DIS), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Hasbro (HAS), Whitman was eBay's president and CEO from 1998 until 2008. She transformed the tiny e-commerce startup with just 30 employees and $4.7 million in revenue into a giant with some 15,000 employees and almost $8 billion in revenue. (Whitman was Fortune's Most Powerful Woman in Business in 2004 and 2005.) She eventually left, making a hard-fought but failed bid to become California's governor.
Pressure is mounting on HP's board to get something right. Before today's news, its stock has been hammered, down over 40% from the beginning of the year. HP was widely criticized over the 2010 departure of former CEO Mark Hurd amid a scandal involving a personal relationship with a company contractor. (Hurd is a co-president at Oracle (ORCL).) Now, Apotheker's tenure looks slated to barely outlast his 10-month run as CEO of SAP, which ended amid clashes with German unions and declines in revenue. As the board meets, HP's long string missteps is surely foremost in mind.