HP gives Carly all top three jobs

Chairman/woman/
person kind of thing

Hewlett Packard today gave CEO and president Carly Fiorina the additional post of chairman.

Fiorina succeeds Dick Hackborn, who was non-exec chairman and remains a member of the board. The move propels the 46-year-old into the top IT female role - she is the only woman to hold all three jobs at a major technology company.

The announcement kicked off the usual round of mutual admiration remarks. "This appointment is a strong vote of confidence in Carly's leadership and the direction she has set for the company over the past 14 months," said Hackborn. "Under her stewardship, the company is now poised for accelerating growth."

"Dick has been an outstanding leader for the board and a mentor for all of us during this important company transition," Fiorina responded.

The California-based PC vendor also authorised a $1 billion share buyback scheme and said it expected to meet its 15 per cent growth target and earnings estimates of $1.03 per share for Q4. Regarding the buyback scheme, HP said shares would be bought on the open market or in private transactions - depending on market conditions.

"This new authorization will enable us to repurchase additional shares at attractive prices," said Robert P. Wayman, HP executive VP and CFO. "HP's strong cash flow enables us to accelerate share repurchases while we continue to make the investments required to fuel our growth in the Internet era," he added. ®

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