Possible Oracle bid led to HP's quick CEO swap, report says

Plummeting shares would make the company vulnerable to a bid.

Directors at Hewlett-Packard Co. acted quickly when they replaced CEO Leo Apotheker with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman because they were concerned that plummeting shares would make the company vulnerable to a takeover bid from Oracle Corp., Bloomberg News reports, citing two people close to the HP board.

Whitman took over as CEO on Sept. 22, after Apotheker oversaw a 47 percent drop in HP stock and sliced sales forecasts three times in less than a year, the Bloomberg story said.

After speaking with several financial advisers, HP has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to help it prepare for any possible moves by activist investors, although it’s now unlikely that Oracle will make a bid any time soon, three people close to the software company said.

Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif., ranks No. 7 on Washington Technology’s 2011 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors. Oracle Corp., of Redwood Shores, Calif., ranks No. 80.

Reader Comments

Mon, Oct 3, 2011 thomas mc United States

Apotheker killed HP, now the vultures are picking over the corpse.

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