Report: Meg Whitman will likely be named HP’s new CEO later today (updated)

Meg WhitmanFormer eBay CEO and Calif. governor hopeful Meg Whitman will likely be named the new full-time CEO of Hewlett-Packard after markets close later today, according to All Things D.

Whitman will replace current HP boss Léo Apotheker, who has attracted much criticism after shaking up the company in the last few months. Apotheker recently laid off 500 employees in HP’s WebOS division, killed the WebOS-equipped TouchPad after just six weeks on the market, bought software firm Autonomy for $10 billion and announced he would explore spinning off HP’s PC division.

HP has had seven different CEOs since 1999, and Apotheker has only been at it for 11 months. Apotheker replaced former head Mark Hurd, who was fired in August 2010 over allegations related to improper expense reports and an embarrassing sexual harassment investigation.

HP’s stock price has dropped more than 40 percent since Apotheker announced his plan to change HP from one of the largest hardware businesses in the world into an enterprise software player.

Whitman seems a decent candidate as replacement CEO based on her history. She took eBay from a small startup to a multibillion-dollar powerhouse. But her expertise is focused on the consumer market, and she has never run a large hardware company with major enterprise clients. At eBay, her record was mixed and she (and her successor) failed to make the acquisition of Skype work in the company’s favor.

Do you think Whitman is good choice for HP’s new CEO?

Update: It’s official. Meg Whitman is officially HP’s new CEO and Léo Apotheker has stepped down.