Meg Whitman's early days at HP: Some predictions

Expect the former eBay chief executive to quickly take control at HP

New HP chief executive Meg Whitman says she will continue the controversial strategy announced last month by departing CEO Leo Apotheker -- explore the sale of the world's largest computer maker's PC business, kill off the webOS mobile operating system after announcing it would be in all HP computers, and overpay for U.K.-based software vendor Autonomy.

And why not, what with investors showing support for that bold plan through a 20% drop in HP's stock price!

Whitman was chosen to succeed Apotheker after HP's directors conducted a rigorous search around the board room. The former eBay CEO joined HP's board just eight months ago, shortly after Apotheker was tabbed to replace Mark Hurd.

So what will Whitman's first moves be now that she's in charge? One can only guess, but below are some of the things we might expect Whitman to do in the early days of her reign at HP:

* Reassure nervous investors that -- the vastly different products, customers, markets and corporate cultures aside -- running HP is exactly like running online auction site eBay.

* Set proper tone at headquarters by slapping around a few employees.

* Establish revolving settlement-expense account for future "one-on-one motivational sessions" with HP workers.

* Make a bid to buy Skype from Microsoft for $11.5 billion because she thinks she can turn right around and flip it to those idiots at Yahoo for $9.1 billion!

* Sell HP's Personal Systems Group through eBay, set no reserve to speed up process.

* Announce new campaign for California governor, this time on an anti-Oracle platform.

* Pay 1,000 times the going market rate for ads on tech blogging sites covering HP. The bloggers will know what to do.

* Change "The HP Way" to "The Meg Way or The Highway."

* Reserve space in HP parking lot for undocumented housekeeper "executive personal assistant."

* Slap around a few more employees. What else do you expect in a "high-pressure working environment"?

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