Carly Fiorina has abruptly been removed as as chairman and chief executive officer of HP. Reports indicate that she did not leave voluntarily.
Her departure comes as a result of a dispute with the Board of Directors, which was attempting to reduce her role in the company.
A search has begun for her replacement. In the mean time, Robert Wayman, the company’s CFO, has stepped in temporarily.
A Bit of History
Fiorina is perhaps best known for spearheading HP’s merger with Compaq in 2002.
Both companies had previously made Pocket PCs, but after the merger HP took on Compaq’s iPAQ brand, and stopped releasing devices under its own Jornada brand.
This upset many handheld users. Although the iPAQ line was more popular, the Jornada series included features that are just now becoming a part of the iPAQ series, like flipcovers.
At this point, there’s no way to know exactly what effect Fiorina’s departure will have on HP’s future handhelds.
However, one of the things HP was criticized for during her tenure was bringing out lackluster products.
Still, there’s no doubt that during the last several years the iPAQ line has grown steadily in popularity. During the third quarter of last year, the most recent period for which data is available, HP had 24.2 percent of the world market, just a couple of percentage points behind the leader.
Curiously, this move comes just a few weeks after palmOne’s chief executive officer Todd Bradley resigned.
Of course, there’s not the slightest reason to suspect that these two events are related in any way. Still, it’s an interesting coincidence that the heads of the two largest handheld makers are leaving their jobs almost simultaneously.
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