Hewlett-Packard's Meg Whitman Appointment Plunges Co. Stock To Six Year Low

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Investors reacted negatively to the announcement of the former eBay CEO and California gubernatorial candidate as HP’s new leader.

Meg Whitman's welcome as Hewlett-Packard's new CEO was short-lived, as the company's stock sank to its lowest level in six years Friday, the day after it was announced she was taking control of the company.

HP's stock was down four percent, at $21.90 in midday trading. That was up from the morning price of $21.50, which the company's lowest stock level since May 2005.

On Thursday, Whitman appointment was announced. The former eBay CEO and California gubernatorial candidate is taking over from previous HP CEO Leo Apotheker who ran the company for just 11 months and announced it was getting out of the personal computer business.

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According to the Associated Press, the way that announcement was handled was a prime reason why the board of directors had grown unhappy with Apotheker's job performance and sought a change in command.

Striving to shore up the company's public image, chairman Ray Lane gave an interview on CNBC on Friday assuring investors the company wasn't "getting out of the PC business," but was still evaluating its options.

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Critics of Whitman say her leadership of eBay, which lasted for a decade, bears no relevance to HP, which is a much larger company and deals with enterprise technology, instead of the consumer sphere, where eBay exists.