NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Meg Whitman has been in the CEO spot less than a week but

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

is reportedly already moving to keep activist investors off her back.

According to

The Wall Street Journal

, the tech giant has hired

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

to advise it on better defending itself against pressure from such investors, who typically purchase significant stakes in a company then lobby for major changes, such as replacing the board or seeking a sale.

The

WSJ

noted that oftentimes a so-called "poison pill" plan is put in place in these situations that gives existing shareholders certain voting rights if an outside investor moves to acquire a large amount of the company's outstanding stock. A typical trigger for a rights plan is a 15% stake.

Goldman declined comment for the article, while an HP spokesperson was quoted by the

Journal

as saying the company "has long-term relationships with a large number of investment banks."

HP, whose stock is down more than 40% so far in 2011,

named Whitman, the former CEO of eBay (EBAY) - Get Report to replace Leo Apotheker as CEO on Sept. 22

.

Apotheker, who took over for Mark Hurd, spent less than a year on the job and was facing widespread criticism of the direction he was taking the company, especially floating the idea to spin off the company's personal computer business and the costly agreement to acquire

Autonomy

, a U.K.-based developer of information management software, for $10.3 billion in a deal that's expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

HP shares closed Wednesday at $23.19, down 1.7%, but the stock saw an after-hours pop of 1.3% to $23.49 on volume of less than 200,000, according to

Nasdaq.com

. The Dow component is slated to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Nov. 21.

--

Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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Michael Baron

.

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