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Why Meg Whitman's Ascent to Chairman of HP Signals New Beginning

Stocks in this article: HPQ AAPL IBM AMZN CRM GOOGL MSFT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If there was ever any doubts as to who's running the show at Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) they were put to rest Thursday when CEO Meg Whitman added the title of "chairman" on her resume.

Whitman replaces Ralph Whitworth, who stepped down due to health issues.

Hewlett-Packard continues to be one of the best stories on the market in 2014. Shares are up 33% over the trailing 12 months and are up 24% year-to-date, outperforming the tech sector's 9% gains. The stock closed Thursday at $34.43, just 2% away from its 52-week high.

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Meg Whitman has been the reason for Hewlett-Packard's resurgence. That she was chosen for chairman is a much-deserved vote of confidence. The company has kept both the CEO and chairman roles separate ever since the departure of former CEO Mark Hurd in 2010. Shares are still down 36% from their 2010 high.

But it's time to look forward. With Whitman now fully entrenched in HP's fabric, investors should expect continued improvements in both the company's revenue and profits.

The new title is nice to have. But it doesn't change anything with respect to Whitman's vision of efficiency and finding new growth areas. Operational expenses will continue to be trimmed and Whitman does not plan to rest until Hewlett-Packard plants its flag in more profitable areas such as software and services.

With the recent enterprise partnership forged between rivals Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM) Whitman's vision of enterprise services growth is only going to get harder.

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