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4 Outsiders That Could Lead HP Rescue

NEW YORK, (TheStreet) -- HP's (HPQ) deeply dysfunctional board appears to be running the company off the rails. The presumed ouster of CEO Leo Apotheker and the apparent appointment of former EBay (EBAY) chief Meg Whitman is just the latest chapter in this saga.

The potential exit of Apotheker, after a one-year run of financial disappointments capped off by a stunning breakup plan, has led analysts and investors to create a list of dream candidates to take over the top HP job.

Should the Whitman gambit not work out, a few names of outside talent have popped up as the sort of steady hands that could take the wheel and avert disaster.

For any would-be candidate, HP's predicament -- stalled growth, brutal competition in hardware and a dicey transition to services and software -- is a daunting challenge. But for a certain breed of hardcharger, the turmoil is probably seen as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring a revered tech giant back to glory.

Inside candidates, having been passed over the last time HP went CEO hunting, might be seen more favorably in this go-round. But several Wall Street types surveyed by TheStreet have dreamed up a sort of wish list of outsiders that might be good fits.

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