Hewlett-Packard elected Meg Whitman as CEO, removing Leo Apotheker after only 11 months. Former Oracle president Ray Lane was elected Executive Chairman to supervise her.
HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., announced the change after the market closed.
Whitman, 55, replaces Apotheker, 58, who had been HP's CEO less than a year. HP shares have lost 40 percent over that time.
Whitman, who resigned as eBay CEO after 10 years, joined the HP board this year after she was defeated in 2010 as the Republican candidate for governor of California. She has an economics degree from Princeton and a Harvard MBA, but no computer background.
The company's board met over two days to discuss various issues, including the proposed spinoff of the PC unit, strategy and Apotheker's performance. HP is the world's largest computer company.
Whitman said the company will keep evaluating Apotheker's plans to spin off its PC unit, the world's largest. It will also complete the $10.3 billion takeover of Britain's Autonomy, a software company.
HP shares, which bounded up 10 percent when rumors first surfaced Wednesday, fell nearly five percent in the Thursday global sell-off, closing at $22.80.