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Hewlett-Packard names Meg Whitman as director in board shake-up

The former CEO of EBay and gubernatorial candidate is one of five new directors named by HP. The tech giant also says four directors are leaving.

January 20, 2011|Reuters

Hewlett-Packard Co. said Thursday that four directors are leaving as a company shake-up continues under new Chief Executive Leo Apotheker.

HP, still reshaping itself after the recent ouster of CEO Mark Hurd, also named five new directors, including Meg Whitman, the former CEO of EBay Inc. who lost to Jerry Brown in the November election for governor of California.

The other new directors are Shumeet Banerji, CEO of Booz & Co; Gary Reiner, former chief information officer of General Electric Co.; Patricia Russo, former CEO of Alcatel-Lucent; and Dominique Senequier, CEO of AXA Private Equity.

The Palo Alto-based technology giant said directors Joel Hyatt, John Joyce, Robert Ryan and Lucille Salhany would not stand for reelection by shareholders.

The changes will leave HP with 13 board members.

Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall said investors should welcome the move,

"Net-net I think this is a big positive. To shake it up a little bit and get some of the old-school guys out of there and get some new-school blood in there, highlighted by Meg Whitman, this is a positive development," he said.

Apotheker, the former CEO of SAP, took over as chief of HP in November.

Hurd was forced out in August for filing inaccurate expense reports. Hurd's exit was contentious — involving charges of sexual harassment that proved baseless — and prompted a number of analysts, shareholders and other business leaders to criticize HP's board.

HP shares were down 4 cents at $46.74 after the announcement of the board changes, which came after the stock closed down 46 cents, or 1%, at $46.78.

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