Hewlett Packard late yesterday thanked former CEO Leo Apotheker for his services while scooting him out the door and simultaneously welcomed Meg Whitman to the fold, who was appointed to his old position and will try to steady HP's ship as it bobbles over waves of uncertainty. Some of those waves are self-inflicted, like the decision to abandon webOS hardware, so does that mean Whitman will reverse the course set in motion by Apotheker? Don't bet on it.
While Whitman gives HP a new face, she plans to follow the same strategies Apotheker put in place. During her first interview since being appointed HP's CEO, Whitman said the company will proceed with plans to purchase U.K. software company Autonomy for $10.3 billion, according to a Bloomberg report . And that whole PC spin-off / sell-off thing? HP's still in that mode, too.
Perhaps looking to put investors' minds at ease, Whitman said her appointment "does not signal a change in strategy. We are behind the actions that were take on August 18. We are firmly committed to Automony." She also promised her and the board will "make a decision as fast as we possibly can" in regards to HP's Personal Systems Group (PSG), noting that "uncertainty doesn't help the business, doesn't help customers, doesn't help shareholders."
Apotheker, meanwhile, exits HP with a cash severance package of no less than $7.2 million and will have made nearly $35 million in cash and stock for his 10-month stint.
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