Hewlett Packard’s Chief Executive Officer, Meg Whitman, will be stepping down early next year, the company announced yesterday. She will be succeeded by Antonio Neri, the current President of HP, who will assume her office on February 1, 2018.
HP shares fell more than 6 percent in after hour trading after the news surfaced. The company also reported its quarterly earnings on Tuesday.
“Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets,” Whitman said in a statement. “Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future.”
Whitman started her business career as the CEO of eBay, which turned into an e-commerce giant under her leadership. Also an Uber investor, she helped Uber amid a shaky executive transition earlier this year, and for a brief period was also being considered as the one to take the helm at the ride hailing company.
Even if she was offered the job, Whitman told CNBC in September that she wasn’t sure she would have taken it. Leaks of her discussions with Uber became a topic of discussion among Wall Street analysts and investors during a September earnings call.
“I might be the only CEO in America who likes running something smaller than something bigger, because it gives me a chance to be in-depth with customers,” Whitman said. “I like a more nimble, agile company and I have no plans to leave HPE. … It’s hard to imagine another five [years] but listen, I am here for the foreseeable future, because there’s still work to do.”
Whitman, a former California gubernatorial candidate, said in a statement that she did not plan on seeking elected office: “I stay active in politics by contributing to candidates from both sides of the aisle who I agree with on core issues, but aside from that, I have no plans to get involved directly.”