As previous chief is axed after 11 months, chairman denies that board is rushing to judgment.
HP chairman Ray Lane denied the board of one of the world's top tech companies was rushing to judgment and defended their decision not to conduct a formal CEO search.
He said when Whitman agreed to take the job, there was no need to look any further. "If we thought there was a better choice outside, we would have conducted the search," Whitman said she endorsed Apotheker's strategy: exploring a spinoff of its $40 billion-a-year PC business, scrapping its TouchPad tablet computer, and agreeing to pay $10.3 billion for U.K. software maker Autonomy. Apotheker, 58, had cut sales forecasts three times since he became CEO in November. He also "presided over strategy shifts that left shareholders doubting his credibility," said Bloomberg Business Week. HP stock is down 47 percent since took over but shares rose 6.1 percent earlier this week after Bloomberg reported the possible management change. Prior to HP, Apotheker, had been CEO of German software maker SAP AG for just 10 months. He joined Hewlett-Packard after CEO Mark Hurd left after a scandal over a personal relationship with a company contractor. Hurd now is a co-president at Oracle .