Meet HP’s New CEO (HPQ, SAP, ORCL)

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Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) was halted right after the close of trading this Thursday.  The halt was a NEWS PENDING status, and we all knew what was expected and what was coming… A NEW CEO.  The company issued a press release and its new CEO is Leo Apotheker, who was previously CEO of SAP AG (NYSE: SAP).  Due to the nature of a weak SAP, some will question this CEO placement.

HP’s board named Léo Apotheker as Chief Executive Officer and President. Apotheker, who previously served as CEO of SAP, will also join HP’s Board of Directors.

The Board also elected Ray Lane, Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as a new member of the Board and designated him as non-executive Chairman. Both elections are effective November 1.

During Apotheker’s more than 20 years at SAP, he was a driving force in making it the largest business software applications company in the world. Apotheker helped develop and implement the most significant changes in SAP history. During his tenure, he transformed R&D and technology platforms and expanded business models and customer segments. Apotheker also helped lead SAP to 18 consecutive quarters of double-digit software revenue growth between 2004 and 2009.

Lane has served on the Board of Directors of more than 20 public and private companies and joined Kleiner Perkins in 2000. Previously, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL). Earlier in his career, Lane also worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, EDS and IBM.

This is an interesting choice and it will be even more interesting to see how well the street and investment community accepts this placement.  It was funny to see the former Oracle tie in Ray Lane as the non-executive chairman considering all of the Oracle-HP showdown over the Mark Hurd hiring by Larry Ellison.  Shares closed down 1% at $42.08 and the 52-week range is $37.32 to $54.75.

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