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Former eBay CEO was picked to run HP for her leadership, communication and execution skills (Photo: eBay)

HP, one of the world's largest IT groups, has appointed Meg Whitman president and CEO, replacing Leo Apotheker, who has been in the position for less than a year.

In recent days, US media reported that the HP board of directors had turned against Apotheker, the 58-year-old former CEO of German business software maker SAP, because of perceived shortcomings in his management style and his failure to meet financial targets.

"The board believes that the job of the HP CEO now requires additional attributes to successfully execute on the company’s strategy," HP said in a press release.

Whitman, 55, was CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008. During that period she turned the fledgling online auction house into a corporattion with 8 billion dlrs in sales and more than 15,000 employees.

Last year, she unsuccessfully ran for governor of California.

Ray Lane, chairman of the HP board, said the company is "at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead."

He particularly cited Whitman's communication skills and leadership qualities and said: "Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution."

Whitman said on an analyst conference call Thursday that she agreed with the strategy laid out for HP by Apotheker. The former CEO announced recently that he wanted to spin off HP's core PC business. He also decided to pay more than 10 billion dlrs for US software maker Autonomy and, in a surprise move, decided to abandon HP's recent move into the tablet PC market.