PALO ALTO (CBS) — A groundbreaking new computer that uses light, not just electricity to move data, and combines all the complex RAM, ROM and other memory in one place is just one of the do-or-die projects that Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman must be successful at for her company turnaround to succeed.

Whitman was once the global marketing manager for Mr. Potato Head. But after her days in the toy industry at Hasbro, she grew eBay into a giant, bought Skype, and spent $144 million of her own money running for governor of California – an investment she lost.

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Now, she’s been brought to HP to turn it around.

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“When I got here this whole area was wood paneled offices, very formal. It looked like a bank. When I was at eBay, we sat in cubicles just like this and the interaction that happens is amazing,” she told CBS News in an interview.

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CONTINUE READING AT CBS NEWS: 75% Of HP Lab Staff Devoted To New Type Of Light-Based Computer