SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 22 (UPI) — U.S. computer giant Hewlett Packard confirmed Thursday former eBay Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman will be HP’s next president and CEO.
Whitman, a Republican who lost California’s 2010 gubernatorial election to Democrat Jerry Brown after she left eBay, will replace Leo Apotheker, who served as HP CEO for less than 11 months.
The shift to Whitman is effective immediately, Hewlett Packard said.
In the same announcement, HP said Ray Lane would move from non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors.
“I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters. It matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world,” Whitman said.
Lane called Whitman “a technology visionary with a proven track record.”
A political observer said there was “delicious irony” in the selection.
Whitman did not get along with former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, a fellow Republican who also ran an unsuccessful statewide election campaign last year.
Fiorina tried to unseat U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, and came up short.
“I do love the delicious irony that she would be sitting at the desk once occupied by Carly Fiorina, given the fact that they’d never wanted to be on the same stage at the same time,” said John Fleischman, publisher of Flashreport.org.
Wade Randlett, a California fundraiser for President Barack Obama, put his own spin on the situation.
“HP was a great company run by a terrible CEO,” Randlett said, referring to Fiorina. “And eBay is a great company that Meg did a great job with. So it’s an opportunity for Whitman, as well as HP, to put a little polish back on their respective reputations,” he said.