No. 5 tech story of 2011: HP's meltdown

HP's disastrous year was about more than Leo Apotheker (though he didn't help)

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Like Apotheker, Meg Whitman has no experience running a hardware company. She's the former CEO of online auction site eBay, which has a very different business model and target market.

But she was there, and willing (at least until her next political campaign). For a board that seems inclined to take the easy way out, those are credentials enough.

Whitman already has reversed Apotheker's decision to spin off the PC unit, and has cast webOS's fate to the open source community (there's hope, TouchPad fans!). But don't expect any big turnaround for HP in 2012. Leo might be gone, but the company's real problem remains.

Top 11 tech stories of 2011 links

No. 11: Netflix's public suicide art project

No. 10: The cloud rises

No. 9: Tales of tablet triumph, tragedy

No. 8: Patent wars

No. 7: The social 'bubble'

No. 6: Meet the new boss

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