Former eBay boss Whitman tipped to become HP CEO

Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, looks set to be named CEO of Hewlett-Packard, according to reports from sources close to HP.

HP's governing board is meeting today in Silicon Valley and a decision on the appointment is expected after US financial markets close today.

The company has had a troubled year, with the failure of its flagship webOS tablet and smartphone platform leading to more than 500 job cuts, in spite of record sales sparked by steep price cuts that left its TouchPad tablet selling for just £89 in the UK. In August, HP also announced it may spin off its entire PC making business.

Speculation has raged over the changes at the top of the company. Current CEO Leo Apotheker has been in the job less than a year, after stepping in to replace disgraced former boss Mark Hurd.

Some observers have eyed Whitman as only likely to perform an interim role as CEO - though one source familiar with the matter told US IT news website AllThingsD that the 55-year-old Silicon Valley veteran would be in it for the long haul.

"Meg is not someone who wants to be a steward of a process to find another CEO for HP," the source said. "She wants to run the company and be a strong leader for what she considers an important tech powerhouse."

Rumours mounted over after Whitman recently re-hired PR guru Henry Gomez, who worked with her at eBay and on her recent (and unsuccessful) run at becoming governor of California - suggesting that she intends to return to the public eye.