Ray Lane’s High-Profile Tech Friends Don’t Necessarily Stay Best Friends Forever

Ray Lane hasn’t been shy about supporting high-profile friends in the tech world — or sharply revising his opinions as conditions changed.

Thursday the leader of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s board reversed his position on Leo Apotheker, a man Mr. Lane has known for 20 years and last fall called “ideally suited” to run H-P. The two men were appointed at the same time and worked closely together during Mr. Apotheker’s 11-month tenure as CEO. He was ousted Thursday.

In a 2010 interview, Mr. Lane, now 64 years old, said one reason he joined H-P’s board was the chance to work with Mr. Apotheker. He subsequently helped engineer a restructuring of the board that in January removed four directors and named five new ones.

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