In Pictures: The 12 biggest gaffes by high-tech execs

Tim Cook admires Macs running Windows. Mark Zuckerberg flop-sweats. Marissa Mayer fancies herself a graphic designer. The bigger the names, the bigger the embarrassment when things go awry.

Leo Apotheker reverses course on WebOS In April 2010, under then-CEO Mark Hurd, HP announced it had bought Palm for $1.2 billion. Less than four months later, Hurd found himself out of a job, and Leo Apotheker became HP’s CEO in September.

Apotheker initially made Palm’s WebOS a priority: HP announced the TouchPad tablet in early 2011, and stated that it would ship PCs with WebOS in the not-too-distant future. Through the spring and early summer, Apotheker affirmed HP’s commitment to WebOS, going so far as to reorganize HP’s PC business to ensure WebOS would make its way into as many HP products as possible, according to BusinessWeek.

But by August, the dream was all but dead when HP unceremoniously killed off its WebOS-based phones and tablets. HP’s board of directors canned Apotheker a month later and hired former eBay CEO Meg Whitman to take his place.

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