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.