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HP replaces CEO after less than a year

HP has given its CEO the heave-ho and brought in Meg Whitman to head the company. Can she turn it around following the TouchPad?

The world of tech can be pretty cutthroat. If you thought a failed product meant nothing more than a blush of embarrassment for the company involved, take a look at the case of HP's now former CEO Leo Apotheker.

Apotheker was ousted last night, just 11 months after taking the top job. Recent disasters for the company include the TouchPad tablet PC, along with its operating system webOS. He's succeeded by Meg Whitman (pictured), former head of eBay, who's also worked at Hasbro and Disney.

HP says Apotheker will also give up his position on the company's board of directors, This Is My Next reports.

It's not been a good few months for HP. Apotheker replaced Mark Hurd, who had to resign after charges of inappropriate business conduct, including misfiling expenses and a charge of sexual harassment. But Apotheker has had his own share of criticism, being described by the New York Times as a "laughingstock in Silicon Valley". Under him the company's share price nearly halved.

His tenure also saw the launch -- and subsequent retirement -- of the TouchPad, a tablet PC not without its charms, but hampered by a dismal app store. Not even a price cut, or Russell Brand, could save it. And with it went webOS, the operating system bought from Palm and used by the TouchPad and Pre handsets.

Whitman joined HP's board of directors in January. She said in a statement, "I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters -- it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world."

Stirring stuff indeed. But can she turn round the flailing HP? Let us know what she needs to do in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

Image credit: Reuters