Leo Apotheker is HP CEO: quick thoughts

Léo Apotheker (HP)

So HP has finally named its replacement for the "disgraced" Mark Hurd. The new President and CEO is Leo Apotheker. Who? Here are few prescriptions for his tenure at Bill & Dave's. Also, reactions from around the Web, in The Long View...

Apotheker is German for pharmacist. The HP board and shareholders certainly have a few prescriptions for him to fill (sorry). In no particular order, this HP shareholder would like to see him do these things:

  • Drastically improve employee morale (couldn't get much worse after Mr. Hurd)
  • Stop HP's internal do-we-or-don't-we debate about making software (stop wasting money invested in software businesses that you later decide not to continue)
  • Restore HP's reputation for product quality (stop making things to a ridiculously low price)
  • Restore HP's reputation for support quality (stop outsourcing support to low-bid overseas contractors that can barely speak English)

I know; that's easy for me to say. What do other commentators think?

Via Adam Lashinsky comes this insight into the new guy, from MySQL founder Marten Mickos:

He's a sharp guy who knows a lot, has clear views, is no-nonsense and  a good listener. ... He's respectful in his way of dealing with people, both big bosses and small guys alike. I get the feeling he is a brilliant leader.

Shane Schick reminds us of Léo's time at SAP:

For a substantial period of time, SAP was ruled by what I liked to call the Holy Trinity. ... Hasso Plattner, guru, visionary and clearly the Father. Shai Agassi ... with the innovative ideas, was the Son, and Henning Kagermann, the professorial president, seemed ... to be more of the Holy Ghost.
Apothecker ... quietly toiled in the wings for 20 years before he was ... after what seemed like a series of behind-the-scenes jousting for supremacy ... given the chance to lead alongside Kagermann.
There must still be a lot of politics within HP, but Apothecker has the experience to successfully navigate them.

And John Paczkowski seems to fall on his sword for previous poor predictions:

Despite our prediction that it would choose an internal candidate like Todd Bradley or Anne Livermore, the company instead looked to an outsider.
Cathie Lesjak, who has been serving as interim CEO, will return to her previous role of CFO.

Do you have high hopes for Apothecker? Or are you apathetic? Comment below, if you dare...

Richi Jennings, blogger at large
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: TLV@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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