HP names ex-SAP chief Apotheker as CEO

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 | Finance News

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard Co on Thursday named Leo Apotheker as its new chief executive, tapping a software industry veteran to lead the world's largest technology company.

Apotheker spent more than two decades at business software company SAP. He was named SAP co-chief executive in April 2008, and became its sole leader in July 2009. He resigned abruptly earlier this year.

Apotheker succeeds Mark Hurd, who was ousted from HP on August 6 for filing inaccurate expense reports related to a female marketing contractor.

Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall said the appointment was good for HP, which is a dominant vendor in PCs, servers, IT services and printers, but which has a relatively small software business.

"The investment community wanted an outsider to be named CEO. They view HP internally as a little bit dysfunctional in terms of all the issues they had in senior management in the last couple of years," Marshall said.

HP's board also named Ray Lane as non-executive chairman. Lane is managing partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and previously served as president and chief operating officer at Oracle Corp.

Both appointments are effective November 1, HP said.

The appointments come nearly two months after the controversial August 6 ouster of Hurd, which sent shockwaves through Silicon Valley and upset investors who credited him for turning the company around.

HP shares fell 4 percent to $40.43 in extended trading. The shares closed at $42.07 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway. Editing by Robert MacMillan)