Less than a year after hiring Léo Apotheker as its chief executive, Hewlett-Packard’s directors were meeting Wednesday to consider replacing him, according to several people with knowledge of the board’s actions.
The leading candidate was Meg Whitman, the former chief executive of eBay, who was sought for her ability to run a large technology company, they said.
The surprise move revealed not only the confusion inside the company over its strategy, but also the directors’ difficulties in choosing the leadership of the company.
The directors hired Mr. Apotheker, who had earlier been fired as a co-chief executive of SAP, a major business software maker, to replace Mark V. Hurd, whom the board had fired over what it characterized as discrepancies in his expense reporting. Mr. Hurd is now the co-president of Oracle, a rival to H.P.
Ms. Whitman, who ran eBay as it grew from a start-up to a major online retailer, left the company just as growth began to stall. She unsuccessfully ran for governor of California and was hired in March by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm, as a strategic adviser.
Hewlett-Packard’s stock was up 11 percent in afternoon trading in New York.
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