Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

The Top 20 Tech Stories of 2011

Changes in Management - Yahoo, HP, Google, Apple
Eric Schmidt stepped down as Google's CEO in early 2011.
Eric Schmidt stepped down as Google's CEO in early 2011.
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Leo Apotheker's departure from HP wasn't the only big story involving tech companies and upper management. One story that brought along with it some controversy was Yahoo's board of directors firing Carol Bartz from the position of CEO. Bartz, who has a reputation for being outspoken, sent out a blunt e-mail to Yahoo's employees explaining that she had been fired over the phone. Yahoo didn't have a replacement lined up for Bartz -- as of December 2011, the company hadn't found a permanent replacement.

Over at Google, the transition of power was a little less dramatic. Former CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down as the head of the company and handed the reins over to Google co-founder Larry Page. Page went on to eliminate many Google projects, believing them to be distractions or subpar products [source: CNET].

Out of all the companies that experienced shifts in upper management, no tech company got as much publicity as Apple. In January, Steve Jobs announced he would go on a medical leave of absence from his role as CEO at Apple, though he was still heavily involved in Apple's business. In August, Steve Jobs announced his resignation from the company as CEO and recommended Apple COO Tim Cook as a replacement. Reporters, industry analysts, Apple employees and fans of the company all began to question what the fate of Apple would be without its co-founder.