HP's Appointment of German CEO Draws Criticism
October 1, 2010 10:25 AM
comment(s) - last by
HP faces criticism for its appointment of Léo Apotheker, former CEO of struggling German software giant SAP AG, to its chief executive post.
Company's stock takes a hit amid uncertainty; new CEO's former firm struggled under his leadership
Say what you will about former Hewlett Packard Company CEO and
new Oracle Corporation co-President
, but he was a brilliant and dynamic leader at HP. Following Mr. Hurd's ousting in August, HP has at last
named a new CEO
-- and it is a relatively surprising pick.
HP has named Léo Apotheker, 57, for the post. Mr. Apotheker comes to HP after over two decades in management at German software giant SAP AG. SAP AG appointed Mr. Apotheker to the post of deputy-CEO in 2007, and he would in 2008 be made co-CEO.
Mr. Apotheker comes from a diverse background. His parents were Polish Jews who fled to the Russo-Chinese border after Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939. In 1953 they returned to Europe, settling in Aachen, Germany. Mr. Apotheker is fluent in five languages -- English, French, German, Dutch and Hebrew.
The new CEO is no stranger to American hardware/software giants. He served at IBM and SDS prior to joining SAP.
Despite that experience, some are dismayed that HP picked Mr. Apotheker. One European investor called the decision "idiotic", while a veteran U.S. software executive is
as calling the decision "astonishing".
The criticism boils down to a few factors. First, SAP sells to businesses primarily, and does not have heavy consumer sales. HP, on the other hand, does sell to businesses, but relies heavily on consumer sales. Secondly, SAP has suffered a downturn during Mr. Apotheker's stint at CEO, falling further behind IBM and Oracle (some say that this was not Mr. Apotheker's fault, as the damage was already done). Last, but not least, the pick of a foreign CEO always has the potential to create a culture clash, even at a company as internationally diversified as HP.
Since the announcement HP stock has dropped from around $42.50 at Wednesday's market close to $40.85 today -- a loss of 3.9 percent market value. Skepticism is the best way to describe investors' sentiments at the present.
The move relieves interim CEO Cathie Lesjak from the company's top position, letting her refocus on her chief financial officer post.
It also serves as another example in the growing trend of international companies to pick foreign CEOs. In September Nokia
appointed former Microsoft Canada executive
to CEO, replacing Finnish CEO
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. Mr. Elop is Nokia's first non-Finnish CEO. While the HP and Nokia appointments are similar, an important distinction is that Mr. Elop hails from a wildly successful company, while Mr. Apotheker comes from a contracting one. Hence, HP's move will be greatly scrutinized perhaps more for what kind of company they picked their leadership from, rather than
they picked their leadership from geographically.
HP is the world's biggest technology company with regard to revenue. Only Microsoft and IBM post greater profits that HP, and only a handful of companies have a
higher market cap
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
I don’t see this as a good thing.
10/4/2010 11:12:46 AM
As a person the likes the webOS interface and wants it on great new phones, and also a person that has to deal with the abomination that is SAP at work every day, I am not a fan of this pick.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
Mark Hurd Settles HP Suit, Leaves Sex Scandal Behind Him
September 21, 2010, 10:36 PM
Former Microsoft Exec to Take Over as Nokia CEO
September 10, 2010, 9:22 AM
Woman Named in HP Scandal Had "Intimate" Past
August 8, 2010, 8:37 PM
UPDATED: Apple Deposes Microsoft to Become World's Biggest Tech Company
May 27, 2010, 9:41 AM
Apple Launches 21.5” iMac with 1.4GHz Core i5 Processor Priced at $1,099
June 18, 2014, 8:07 AM
Lowe's "Holoroom" Brings Holodeck, Home Improvement Dreams Closer to Reality
June 13, 2014, 9:06 AM
Intel to Broaden Market for Fanless Tablets, Ultrabooks with 14nm Intel Core M
June 3, 2014, 10:42 AM
ZOTAC Announces Four New Silent ZBOX Mini-PCs
June 2, 2014, 9:21 AM
ZOTAC Announces Funky ZBOX Sphere OI520 Series
May 22, 2014, 8:20 PM
Lenovo Slides Past Apple to Claim #3 PC Sales Spot in U.S., Posts Record Earnings
May 21, 2014, 9:21 AM
Most Popular Articles
Silver-Doped Superconductor Stores 550,000+ Times Earth's Magnetic Field
July 3, 2014, 8:48 AM
Despite Legal Threats Google Begins Posting Warnings of ISP Throttling
July 7, 2014, 5:52 PM
Leaked Photos Show New Lumia 830 Smartphone With Aluminum Frame
July 3, 2014, 11:31 AM
Google Steps up Moral Censorship, Hogties All Ads With Sexual Content
July 4, 2014, 2:00 PM
Apple's iPhone, iPad Update iOS 7.1.2 is Badly Broken for Some
July 8, 2014, 2:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information