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3 PC Industry Chiefs Who Could Crash

BlackBerry and Microsoft have ditched their CEOs. Who's next?

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Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard

HPQ CEO Meg WhitmanWhitman became CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) in September 2011. Her decision to stick to selling PCs has been unpopular in some quarters, and the company recently slipped from being the biggest computer vendor in the world to second place, losing the title to Lenovo (LNVGY).

While HPQ has since recovered, the stock hit its lowest point in a decade while under her watch. The company has undergone massive layoffs amid slowing PC sales and a corresponding hit in printer and ink cartridge revenue.

A write-down of $8.8 billion on the purchase of Autonomy hasn’t helped Whitman’s fortunes (the deal was done under another CEO, but she was a director on HP’s board when it was negotiated and followed through with it when she took over). Meanwhile, the company’s mobile strategy has been a mess.

After killing off its WebOS tablet efforts (the remnants of HPQ’s purchase of Palm), it finally released Android tablets this year. Whitman says Hewlett-Packard needs a smartphone, but there’s no sign of one yet, and the market’s awfully crowded now. If Whitman fails to steer Hewlett-Packard into being at least a presence on mobile sales charts, her time might be up.

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