THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS at HP has found a suitable replacement for Mark Hurd, the ex-SAP chief Léo Apotheker.
Mark Hurd left HP in a blaze of financial remuneration, sexual harassment allegations and talk of expenses fiddling, and walked straight into the co-president job at Oracle. Which was nice for him.
During his time at HP he drove up profits, but, depending on who you listen to, wasn't much of a people person. Perhaps Apotheker will be a different kind of leader, but HP will certainly look for him to continue growth and hopefully, stay out of trouble.
He is certainly loyal. Apotheker stuck at SAP for two decades, and left only last February. As he emptied his desk and boxed up his office knick-knacks the firm thanked him, "for his enormous contribution to the success of SAP".
We don't know what he has been up to since February. Maybe he's broadened his horizons in the last few months, maybe done a bit of travelling, we can't say. Its unlikely that he will get much of a chance to look out the window or flirt in the accounts department when he starts on 1 November though.
"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, lead independent director of the HP Board. "After more than two decades in the industry, he has a strong track record of driving technological innovation, building customer relationships and developing world-class teams."
"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. He has demonstrated success in the US 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."
Apotheker chirped, "I look forward to working with the outstanding people at HP to write the next chapter in the company's long and proud history."
Apotheker succeeds Cathie Lesjak, who was named interim CEO upon Hurd's departure in August. She will continue in her former role as CFO.
HP also named Ray Lane, managing partner at venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and ex-Oracle VP, as a member of the board and non-executive chairman. Now that Lane is at HP and Hurd is at Oracle, in effect they have just switched jobs, more or less. µ
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