Moving forward, HP has some other options, including "a long-shot possibility to become a leader in enterprise cloud as an anchor of a larger ecosystem of products and services," said Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett in a statement. "They could buy Amdocs for enhanced billing and monitoring; but buying SAP still doesn't make sense."
But there could be fallout for HP's board due to Apotheker's "sudden removal," Bernstein Research wrote in an analyst note released before HP made the announcement.
"The potential sudden removal of Apotheker as CEO -- and the fact that such Board discussions were once again leaked to the press -- are likely to further undermine the Board's already fragile credibility," the note states. "Our conversations with major shareholders also indicate that they have been disgruntled with the Board, given it has made and approved a series of decisions (Hurd's firing; Leo's hiring; approval of the Autonomy acquisition; the premature announcement of the exit of the PC business) that many shareholders believe were poor decisions and misaligned with their interests."
(Agam Shah in New York, Stephen Lawson in San Francisco and Robert McMillan in San Francisco contributed to this report.)
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com