Former SAP Chief Named New HP Top Executive

Vendor taps Léo Apotheker president and chief executive, also elects new board member.

October 1, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Hewlett-Packard Co. capped a two-month long search when it tapped Léo Apotheker, the former SAP AG chief executive, to its top spot, replacing Mark Hurd, who resigned amid allegations of sexual impropriety and falsified expense reports in early August.

HP also appointed Apotheker to its board of directors. In addition, HP elected Ray Lane, a former Oracle Corp. president and chief operating officer and currently a managing partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to its board. Both appointments are effective as of November 1, 2010.

Last February, Apotheker abruptly stepped aside as SAP’s chief executive after only seven months at the helm, amid an unexpected executive shuffle and after some 20 years at the company.

While he was highly regarded for his support of SAP’s research and development efforts, technology, expanding its business models and customer sets, he resigned when the company’s board declined to renew his contract amid complaints from customers and employees and his inability to increase sales.

Apotheker succeeds Cathie Lesjak, HP’s chief financial officer, who has served as the vendor’s interim chief executive since Hurd’s resignation. Hurd subsequently jumped to Oracle, where, in early September he was named co-president, succeeding Charles Phillips, who resigned from the company.

“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,” said Robert Ryan, a member of HP’s board, in a statement.

“Léo has been a leader in anticipating the transformation taking place in our industry, and we believe he is uniquely positioned to help accelerate HP’s strategy,” Ryan said.

Ryan suggested that Apotheker’s reputation for maintain extensive contacts with enterprise-class customers was a factor in his hiring.

“He has demonstrated success in the U.S. market and also has vast international experience, which will be a major asset as HP continues to expand globally, particularly in high-growth emerging markets,” he said.

Apotheker said that “HP’s diversified products and services, its financial strength, and its leadership position across markets, no other company is as well positioned to drive--and profit from--the revolutionary changes under way in the marketplace.”

HP said that Lesjak will remain the company’s CFO and continue to serve on its executive council.

TAGS: SAP,HP,Hurd,Lesjak,Apotheker

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