HP CEO steps down

Carly Fiorina stepped down as chairman and chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co., a surprise move at the company that she had steered from its roots in the printer business more deeply into computers, HP announced Wednesday.

In a statement, Fiorina cited differences with the board over executing its strategy and suggested she was fired.

HP named Robert P. Wayman, its chief financial officer, as interim chief executive.

Fiorina took the helm at HP in 1999. The following year, the company added chairman to her list of titles, making her the first woman to hold all three top posts — president, CEO and chairman — at a major computer company.

“While I regret the board and I have differences about how to execute HP’s strategy, I respect their decision,” Fiorina said in a statement. “HP is a great company and I wish all the people of HP much success in the future.”

Fiorina, one of the few women to head a Fortune 500 company, pushed through HP’s acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002 despite fierce resistance from shareholders and directors.

HP named Patricia C. Dunn, an HP director, as non-executive chairman.