HP named Meg Whitman, the former eBay Inc Chief Executive Meg Whitman as its president and CEO in the place of Leo Apotheker. Apotheker has been harshly criticized before and in a bid to restore investor confidence HP took this step.

Whitman is an Internet retail expert who transformed eBay from a few dozen employees in 1998 into a global Internet retail powerhouse. Her elevation surprised many with its hastiness and Apotheker becomes the third straight HP CEO shown the door.

“Some might be saying maybe Meg Whitman isn’t the right person, either. She’s not a hardware person,” said Auriga analyst Kevin Hunt. But HP “just needs someone to set the direction.”

Whitman said HP remained committed to completing a review of its PC division before the year ends, and expected to close the pricey $12 billion acquisition of British software maker Autonomy Corp Plc as planned.

HP’s shares closed down 4.8 percent at $22.80, wiping out much of Wednesday’s 6.6 percent gain.

“We would view any decision not to conduct a comprehensive search of internal and external candidates for a permanent CEO role as unsatisfactory and unnecessarily hasty,” Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who has been openly critical of HP’s board, wrote in a note earlier on Thursday.

HP Chairman Ray Lane dismissed such concerns. He said the board chose Whitman after serious consideration and that her strong communication and operational execution skills made her the best candidate.

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