HP Names Whitman CEO

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has a new job.

Kara Swisher of AllThingsD first reported Thursday that Hewlett-Packard would name the former California gubernatorial candidate its new CEO Thursday after the close of the market.

Shortly after 1 p.m. PT Thursday, HP made it official.

"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."

HP also announced that Ray Lane moved from the non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors.

Whitman replaced Leo Apotheker, whose recent moves have been questioned by shareholders and people within the company. Apotheker was only on the job for 11 months.

"We very much appreciate Léo’s efforts and his service to HP since his appointment last year," Lane said in a statement. "The board believes that the job of the HP CEO now requires additional attributes to successfully execute on the company’s strategy. Meg Whitman has the right operational and communication skills and leadership abilities to deliver improved execution and financial performance."

Whitman led eBay to pre-eminence, joining in 1998 when the company only had 30 employees. She took a young startup and transformed it into one of Silicon Valley's largest companies with more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in revenue.

But Whitman's tenure at eBay was not without controversy. She was known for being a demanding CEO and was accused by a former employee of shoving her in a meeting. eBay reportedly reached a six figure settlement with the employee.

HP stock has taken a huge hit in 2011. It's fallen 45.4 percent since January 1 and that makes it the second-worst performer in the Dow Jones industrial average behind Bank of America,
which is down 54.4 percent.

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