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HP names SAP vet as chief exec

Apotheker the right prescription?

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HP's board has elected ex-SAP CEO Léo Apotheker as their company's new CEO and president, and provided him with a seat on the board.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers managing partner Ray Lane was also named as non-executive chairman with a seat on the board.

"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 board member Robert Ryan in a company statement announcing the hiring.

"After more than two decades in the industry," Ryan added, "he has a strong track record of driving technological innovation, building customer relationships and developing world-class teams."

Those "more that two decades" included more than 20 years at software giant SAP, where — according to the statement — Apotheker "helped lead SAP to 18 consecutive quarters of double-digit software revenue growth between 2004 and 2009."

SAP is a software company. HP is a hardware and service company — although the Palo Alto veteran firm claims to be the world's seventh-largest software company.

Apotheker, as might be expected, said: "I am deeply honored to be joining the more than 300,000 dedicated HP employees," adding that "I look forward to working with the outstanding people at HP to write the next chapter in the company’s long and proud history."

For those of you with short memories, Apotheker is replacing former HP boss Mark Hurd, who "resigned" in the midst of a sexual-improprietry and expenses-fudging imbroglio early last month, only to be snapped up by Larry Ellison to become Oracle's co-president. ®

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