HP Chairman Resigns 'To Reduce Any Distraction'

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The chairman of HP on Thursday resigned, although not from the board, as the IT company continues to wrestle with the fallout from recent CEO turnover and the contentious, $12 billion Autonomy acquisition.

"I’ve decided to step down as executive chairman to reduce any distraction from HP’s ongoing turnaround," Ray Lane said in statement. “Since I joined HP’s board a little over two years ago, I’ve been committed to board evolution to ensure our turnaround and future success."

Lane is a former Oracle Corp. exec and Kleiner Perkins managing partner. Ralph Whitworth takes over as interim head of the board, which also saw John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson step down entirely.

HP is dealing with the aftermath of the Mark Hurd and Leo Apotheker CEO debacles, as well as controversy over the purchase of U.K.-based Autonomy. The company also faces declining stock prices and other financial woes. Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO, has worked at the IT giant's helm since September 2011. She recently decried channel conflict within HP, stressing the company's renewed focus on its partners.

"Now we have a very clear policy about taking business away from our channel and going direct," she said at HP's Global Partner Conference in February, according to The Channel Register. "My message is that this simply will not be tolerated. Everyone in the HP organization is crystal-clear on the behavior we expect. I am holding myself and the executives accountable for that."

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