HP gets new CEO and President

Ex SAP CEO takes over HP

CONSIDERING THE SCANDALS revolving around HP’s last CEO, Mark Hurd, we’re hoping that HP has made a wiser choice choosing Léo Apotheker as its new CEO and President. Mr Apotheker joins HP from SAP which he joined in 1988 where he’s been a member of the board of directors since 2002 and has served as both deputy CEO and co-CEO.

As far as we are aware, Mr Apotheker is HP’s first CEO that is not from the US, as Mr Apotheker is German. During his time at SAP Mr Apotheker focused on the European, Middle Eastern and African markets and as such he’s an interesting choice by HP’s board of directors considering that HP so far has been a very American company. It could well be that this is the change HP needs to move forward in what is quickly becoming a market of a few very large players, of which HP is one of the key players.

Mr. Apotheker’s key strengths seem to lie in customer support and his global experience in the business. HP’s press release states that “Léo is a strategic thinker with a passion for technology, wide-reaching global experience and proven operational discipline – exactly what we were looking for in a CEO”. Hopefully he’ll live up to the expectations, as HP is going to need a strong leader that can make some tough decisions to allow HP to keep its leadership in the industry. Acer has vowed to become the top PC manufacturer in the world and is currently growing quicker than HP.

However, HP also has a number of other business units that are also under a constant threat from its competitors, be it printers, servers or mobile devices.  Mr. Apotheker is going to have to tread a fine line not to upset Microsoft in the mobile arena after HP’s move towards Palm powered devices. The move is likely to cost HP a lot of brownie points with Microsoft. We’re also hearing that HP is having some internal inter-departmental problems due to lack of platform standardization between various projects. Currently HP is not only working on Palm powered devices, but also Android and presumably Windows Phone and Windows Embedded as well, something that is leading to a degree of tension between the various departments.

Let’s end with a quote from Mr Apotheker himself and at the same time wish him luck in this new position beginning on the 1st of November. “HP has a powerful mix of businesses, products and services, one of the most innovative cultures in the industry, and an accomplished management team who have played a critical role in its success, I am deeply honored to be joining the more than 300,000 dedicated HP employees.”S|A

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