Ann Livermore

Livermore, a member of HP's board, heads up the company's gigantic enterprise business, and brings a wealth of experience to the table. The 29-year HP veteran has seen her division make significant gains against IBM ( IBM) and Cisco, and is seen as a crucial cog in the company's machine.

In addition to her HP know-how, the enterprise chief is also renowned for her poise when addressing large audiences, a critical skill for the CEO of a major tech company.

Pund-IT's King acknowledges that Livermore is a "seasoned professional" with a deep understanding of HP, but notes that she was overlooked during the company's last three CEO hirings. "I think that Livermore's time has come and gone, but she would be fine as a caretaker CEO," he said.

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