HP picks former SAP chief Apotheker as new CEO

Former Oracle president Ray lane is made non-executive chairman

Hewlett-Packard has named a former CEO of SAP, Leo Apotheker, to be its new president and chief executive, replacing Mark Hurd who resigned abruptly last month in the midst of a scandal.

The appointment, announced Thursday, came as a surprise, since HP had reportedly been focusing lately on internal candidates. Apotheker's name had not been raised by industry pundits as a likely successor.

It also means that HP overlooked two internal candidates for the position -- Ann Livermore, the head of HP's enterprise business, and Todd Bradley, who runs its giant PC division.

Also Thursday, the HP board appointed Ray Lane, a former Oracle president, to be non-executive chairman of the HP board. Like Livermore and Bradley, Lane had been seen as a possible contender for the top job.

Both appointments are effective Nov. 1, HP said.

Apotheker will likely be seen as controversial choice by the HP board. He spent more than 20 years at SAP, becoming joint CEO in April 2008, and taking over as sole CEO in May 2009. His tenure as sole CEO lasted less than a year, however, and Apotheker resigned unexpectedly in February after SAP's supervisory board opted not to renew his contract.

HP praised Apotheker's long career and said he was "a driving force in making [SAP] the largest business software applications company in the world."

"Leo 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,” HP said in a statement.

HP had been without a full-time CEO since the first week of August, when Hurd abruptly resigned following claims of sexual harassment from the actress Jodie Fisher, who had worked for HP as a marketing contractor.

HP decided Hurd had not violated its sexual harassment policy, but it faulted him for failing to disclose a personal relationship with Fisher, and for filing inaccurate expense reports intended to conceal the relationship.

HP's chief financial officer, Cathie Lesjak, was named interim CEO while HP looked for a new leader.

Other names mentioned as possible replacements for Hurd included Michael Capellas, the former CEO of Compaq.

HP has looked outside the company for its two previous CEOs -- both of whom were ultimately edged out by the board. Carly Fiorina was hired in 1999 and forced out six years later after HP's controversial acquisition of Compaq. Hurd became CEO that year, in 2005, and also left at the board's urging.

The bizarre tale of Hurd's departure captivated the tech industry for a while, with some speculating that there were other motives for his departure. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison jumped to Hurd's side, calling HP's board "cowardly" for letting him go.

A few weeks later, Oracle hired Hurd as a co-president to run its systems business, formed through the acquisition of Sun Microsystems earlier this year.

HP subsequently sued Hurd, saying that he would not be able to perform the new job without violating a confidentiality agreement tied to his severance package. The companies quickly settled the suit without disclosing the terms. HP said Hurd would adhere to his obligations to protect HP's confidential information.

Hurd made his first appearance as an Oracle executive at the OpenWorld conference in late September.

HP appears to have moved on. Earlier this month it prevailed in a lengthy bidding war against Dell to acquire storage vendor 3Par for $2.35 billion. Two weeks later it acquired security vendor ArcSight for US$1.5 billion.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesSAPHewlett-Packardpersonnel

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?