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Reaction to the HP CEO Hiring Decision

Fri Oct 1, 2010 - 10:01 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

The reaction to the hiring of Leo Apotheker, former chief of SAP, as the new chief executive officer HP has been mixed.

The San Francisco Chronicle talked to analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies Inc,. who noted one of the top internal candidates had been Ann Livermore, executive vice president for HP's enterprise business. Livermore has now been passed over for the top job for a third time. Bajarin remarked that Apotheker was "probably the right choice" given his experience running SAP."

"Given the direction that Hurd had been dragging them, which was more and more toward software as a service, as CEO he can continue to carry on that vision, yet balance the needs of printer clients, which is critical. He has a lot of the same DNA as Hurd in the sense of his understanding of the entire hardware and software as a service concept."


At PC Magazine, Sascha Segan's post opens as follows:

"I'm hoping HP's new CEO, Leo Apotheker, has a scintillating personality, because his resume looks like doom for the world's largest computer maker's future in the consumer and mobile markets.

I'm not baffled by this choice: I'm depressed. On paper, Apotheker is an apparatchik from a company that has absolutely no exposure to consumers. He spent 20 years selling hideously boring but profitable enterprise software, and was then vaulted up to CEO and swiftly sacrificed on the altar of the global economic collapse."

...New HP CEO Leo Apotheker's resume says that he's comfortable promoting an integrated solution for enterprises. But he needs to step up in public, quickly, and reassure us that he has any clue about the consumer market, especially (unlike Mark Hurd) in mobile.


ComputerWorld's Richi Jennings did a round-up of comments.


And Kara Swisher of All Things Digital managed to get some quotes from the new hires. She found out that Apotheker speaks five languages.

She noted that he was not very detailed about his plans to take over as the head of HP, saying "I won't presume to offer deep insights into HP ...until I hear from its workforce."

Ray Lane, who was hired as he non-executive chairman of its board, mentioned how he and Apotheker have known each other since 1992 and that they have had a "mutual respect," despite often being business rivals. Lane also said he would focus on being a board member and will not be involved in any day-to-day management at HP.


Circling back to the comments by Segan at PC Magazine, we all are curious to see how this move impacts HP's consumer business and specifically, Palm.


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