Meg Whitman may replace HP CEO

Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, may temporarily replace Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker. Meg Whitman joined the HP board in January.

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    Sources say that Mag Whitman may temporarily replace Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker, who has been at the post for less than a year.

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Hewlett-Packard Co. shares jumped Wednesday after reports that the technology company's board is mulling the removal of CEO Leo Apotheker, who has been on the job for less than a year.

Citing two unnamed people "familiar with the matter," Bloomberg reported Wednesday that HP's board intends to hold a meeting to discuss getting rid of Apotheker, 58.

The CEO had started at HP on Nov. 1 after HP ousted the previous CEO, Mark Hurd, following an ethics scandal. Since Apotheker's arrival, though, HP's stock has plummeted, continuing a decline that began with Hurd's departure.

One of the sources said it's possible that Apotheker would be replaced — at least temporarily — with Meg Whitman, former CEO of online marketplace eBay Inc. Whitman joined HP's board in January.

If Apotheker is asked to leave HP, it would be the second time he has been fired from a CEO post. He left his former employer, German business software maker SAP AG, after less than two years as a CEO amid a customer revolt over a price hike and growing employee dissatisfaction.

HP spokesman Michael Thacker said the company, based in Palo Alto, California, does not comment on rumors or speculation.

HP shares rose $2.27, or 10 percent, to $24.74 in afternoon trading. In the past year, the stock has traded from $22.13 to $49.39.

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