Failed California Republican gubernatorial nominee and billionaire former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has been named the new chief executive of troubled Hewlett Packard.
HP, considered the original Silicon Valley tech company, has been engulfed in turmoil for years, especially since the ouster of former CEO Mark Hurd last year in a scandal over his relationship with a female contractor. More recently, the company has confused investors and consumers with a new strategy, jettisoning a TouchPad computing device after only a few weeks on the market and announcing plans to consider spinning off its personal computer division.
The PC spin-off decision will be made before the year's end, Whitman tells the Wall Street Journal.
Whitman replaces former CEO Leo Apotheker after less than a year. Most of the 12 members of HP's board of directors reportedly "had not even met" with Apotheker when he was hired. Most of the board has been replaced.
Whitman sunk about $145 million of her personal fortune into her failed bid for governor. "Each vote she received cost her about $45," reports NYT. "The Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, who spent little by comparison, handily won." Whitman opposed marriage equality and promised to vigorously defend Proposition 8 against its current legal challenge if elected.