Musical chairs continue. Mark Hurd left HP and landed in the co-President seat at Oracle. A previous Oracle President and Chief Operating Officer just took over Hurd?s seat at HP. Léo Apotheker was named CEO and President of HP. Skimming over co-incidental past history, Apotheker?s most recent 20 year?s experience has been at SAP where he served as CEO.
According to the HP news release, Apotheker can walk on water. In his long list of accomplishments, he "transformed R&D and technology platforms and expanded business models and customer segments," "leading SAP to 18 consecutive quarters of double digit software revenue growth." Profiting from a BA in Economics and International Relations, HP?s new CEO has led worldwide sales and field operations, and been at the head of more than a dozen acquisitions.
Apotheker is fluent in English, Dutch, French, German and Hebrew and was awarded the French Légion d?honneur for business leadership and contributions to the French economy. Apotheker was CEO and founder for many of SAP?s locations, including Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; with emphasis on SAP France, and SAP Belgium.
Robert Ryan, lead independent director of the Board said: "Léo has been a leader in anticipating the transformation taking place in our industry … he has vast international experience ? which will be a major asset as HP continues to expand globally, particularly in high-growth emerging markets."
Apotheker, of course, responded with glowing compliments for his new employer, and says "…no other company is as well positioned to drive ? and profit from ? the revolutionary changes under way in the marketplace."
Cathie Lesiak will be relinquishing the corner office to Apotheker. She temporarily wore the interim CEO hat since Hurd?s departure, and will remove that designation while continuing to wear her original chapeau as Chief Financial Officer.
Effective November 1, Apotheker will also sit on the HP BOD along with newly elected Ray Lane who was designated as a non-executive Chairman. Lane is a managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which has offices in California?s Silicon Valley and China. Interestingly, Colin Powell of US Secretary of State fame is listed as a Strategic Limited Partner.
Lane, apparently is a Board of Directors junkie, serving on more than 20 public and private companies. IBM is on his resume, with EDS, and, oh would you believe, Oracle, where he was also a President and Chief Operating Officer. As expected, he is excited to be part of the team "as they capitalize on the changes taking place across the industry."
The theme of the announcement has us looking forward to many innovations and changes in the HP strategy. Could software be a dominant force in their future, a la Apotheker?s SAP tenure?
As long as HP doesn?t get sidetracked by law suits or dramas such as those hitting the recent news surrounding Hurd?s scandalous resignation that garnered him $12,224,693 in severance pay in return for agreeing not to sue HP, only to have HP turn around and sue him over trade secrets [quietly settled this week], we might be able to report on some substantive technology news from HP in the coming months.