HP CEO Fiorina Ousted

Hewlett-Packard chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina has been relieved of her duties by the company’s board of directors. After five and a half years with HP, Fiorina was asked to resign, reportedly over her failure to make the company’s $21 billion purchase of Compaq Computers pay off.

CFO Robert P. Wayman has been named Interim CEO and director Patricia C. Dunn was appointed non-executive chairman of the board.

In a statement, Fiorina comments, “While I regret the board and I have differences about how to execute HP’s strategy, I respect their decision. HP is a great company and I wish all the people of HP much success in the future.”

Fiorina struggled to get shareholder support for the 2002 Compaq purchase, which to date has not significantly boosted the company’s slumping PC business as expected.

The company says it will begin a search for a new CEO immediately and doesn’t expect to make any additional structural changes or executive leadership changes at present.

Fiorina delivered the keynote speech at the 2004 National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. Her message encouraged members to consider not only what humanity can do with communication technology, but what humanity chooses to do with that technology.

HP has been working with DreamWorks and Warner Bros. to develop post-production digital technology it hopes to then sell to the rest of the entertainment world. The DreamWorks partnership is an expansion of an existing relationship the companies have had in place since 2001. HP worked with the studio on Shrek 2 by providing outsourced computational power through its new Utility Rendering Service. This system allows studios to rent off-site computing power from HP for big projects, such as rendering on the CG-animated Shark Tale, that would otherwise require the studio to build its own IT infrastructure to peak capacity.

Warner Bros. has been working closely with HP on the digital restoration of classics such as Singin’ in the Rain and The Wizard of Oz.

HP’s annual shareowner meeting will be held in Chicago on March 16, 2005.