Hewlett-Packard Co announced on Thursday that former eBay Inc Chief Executive Meg Whitman will replace Leo Apotheker as CEO, effective immediately.

The largest U.S. technology company said in a statement it will also appoint a lead independent director promptly. Ray Lane becomes executive chairman of the board, moving from non-executive chairman previously.

We are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead, Lane said in the statement.

(Editing by Richard Chang)