HP has revealed Meg Whitman will take over the role of as president and chief executive officer following the departure of Léo Apotheker.

The tech giant also revealed Ray Lane has become executive chairman of the board of directors, while a lead independent director will be appointed as soon as possible by the board.

"We very much appreciate Léo's efforts and his service to HP since his appointment last year. The board believes that the job of the HP CEO now requires additional attributes to successfully execute on the company's strategy," said Lane.

"We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman's caliber and experience step up to lead HP," said Lane, who also described Whitman, a former member of HP's board, as a "technology visionary with a proven track record of execution".

Lane added HP is at a critical moment and needs renewed leadership to successfully implement its strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead.

"I am honoured and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters – it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world," Whitman said.

Whitman's appointment comes just weeks after HP revealed it was discontinuing its first tablet PC, the HP TouchPad, and also dropping support for the WebOS platform.