HP's Apotheker: A "global citizen" positioned to lead a global company

HP's Apotheker: A "global citizen" positioned to lead a global company

Summary: On a webcast this morning, HP introduced its new CEO, Leo Apotheker, who fielded questions and offered a glimpse into his thoughts on the future of the company.


On a webcast this morning, Hewlett Packard formally introduced its new CEO, former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker, offering some opening remarks but leaving it mostly open for questions. He was introduced by board member Bob Ryan, who offered a brief explanation on the process of finding a new CEO.

Ryan said HP's board led a thorough process and "considered an outstanding pool of internal and external candidates but unanimously agreed" that Apotheker was the right person. He said Apothecker was the only candidate who was offered the job. Asked to elaborate, he said that the board "cast the net very far and very wide." He said the job was a "desirable" one to many candidates but that the board ended up with about 6 candidates who could have done the job. Apotheker rose above the others as the best for the position, he said.

He applauded Apotheker's experience in the industry, saying that Apotheker has a "proven track record" of success as SAP's CEO, creating shareholder value and making SAP a driving force in the industry.

Also: Surprise! HP names Leo Apotheker CEO; Can he rewrite his legacy?

Apotheker said he was happy to be part of the HP family, adding, "I don't think there's another company in tech that can match HP's place in the market... I have a great appreciation for this company, its technology and its people."

Apotheker said the company was one with "tremendous financial strength and a strong balance sheet," with passionate employees who are hungry to win. He also praised the senior leadership team for its talent and said he is confident in HP's ability to deliver on the earnings forecast that was offered at the company's analyst day earlier this week.

Right out of the gate, the question came up about Apotheker's background in the software business and whether that could offer some insight into HP's focus on software.

To increase the value of the company, he said, it helps to remember that "software is sort of the glue that can make that happen. Software can make sure that various parts of our technology all fit well together." But it's not just software, he said. Value-added services are an important complement.

So does that mean that he sees the company going down the path of Oracle as an integrator of hardware and software? Is that where the industry is headed?

Apotheker answered the question more broadly by noting that "there is a massive disruption around all of the value chain and all elements of the technology stack. We believe there's a great opportunity there for us."

Pressed further, he was asked where HP lags or has holes in the stack - database? middleware? He said that "HP has such a diversified mix of products and services that I believe it's positioned to be a strong player in every part of the stack... But it's too early and too presumptuous for me to say which part is better... I believe there will be ample opportunity to discuss" what the company will do as it moves forward.

Apotheker was also asked to elaborate on his experience and what he brings to the table. He replied by pointing to his experiences leading and growing a software company like SAP. But, more importantly, he played up his global experience.

"HP is a global company and one of my attributes is being a global citizen," he said. "Speaking a few languages will help."

He noted that he has been in the global marketplace for 20 years and brings that experience of international business relations to the table. "As you know, HP is very focused in expanding the market and wants to grow faster in emerging markets.

"I have a lot of experience there," he said.

Apotheker will take the reins of the company on Nov. 1. Cathie Lesjak, who has run the company on an interim basis and has been clear since taking over that she did not want to be considered for it permanently, will return to her primary position as the company's Chief Financial Officer.

Separately, the company detailed Apotheker's compensation package in a regulatory filing this morning.

In a nutshell, his base pay will be $1.2 million but his incentive pay could be five times that. He also received a $4 million signing bonus and $4.6 million for relocating to the U.S. His incentive also includes 38,000 shares of HP stock, with about $1.6 million based on the current price, at the end of October and another 38,000 a year later.

There are also long-term incentives that includes more shares of restricted stock.

Topics: CXO, Enterprise Software, Hewlett-Packard, Legal, Software, IT Employment

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

    Add another one to the firsts:

    * First German Jew to run a silicon valley company. I know there are lots of Jews running startups (I think Mark Zuckenberg descends from Jews, not sure he's a practitioner), but it seems to me they are all born in the U.S. [but, of course, I could be wrong].

    I hope the best for this multilingual fellow.
    • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

      @cosuna <br>Larry Ellison is Jewish, as is Safra Catz, although I fail to see what this has to do with their ability to run a multinational corporation.
    • RE: HP's Apotheker: How do you know he is a german jew ?

      He had a job at SAP, a german firm. That it, but NO. In fact he was born in Antwerp, Belgium where he went to school. Better to check your assumption before writing them.
  • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

    So... is he a poet, an engineer, or a bean-counter? There are a lot of words there about earnings and balance sheets but those are effects, not causes. People who forget that tend to turn in very solid numbers until the day they wake up and discover that the world has passed them by. Like, for example, Steve Ballmer. People who worry about the technology and the products get the numbers as a side effect. Like, for example, Steve Jobs. I didn't hear anything here that distinguishes Apotheker from Carly Fiorina.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

      @Robert Hahn <br><br>Excellent comment. I have worked for tech companies for 25 years now and it's amazing how little the employees seem to matter to these blokes. It may blow up in their face (already has in the American auto and appliance makers) but the problem is they will take us with them.
  • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

    ?'HP is a global company and one of my attributes is being a global citizen....'...In a nutshell, his base pay will be $1.2 million but his incentive pay could be five times that. He also received a $4 million signing bonus and $4.6 million for relocating to the U.S. His incentive also includes 38,000 shares of HP stock, with about $1.6 million based on the current price, at the end of October and another 38,000 a year later."

    Global company = A handful of multi-millionaires and their immediate staff/servants located in wealthy US or European locations with a workforce squatting in a Mumbai slum. Oh well! Love that globally astute management!

    Any idiot can take millions of dollars for cranking out gadgets with an impoverished, third world workforce and selling them for a huge markup but let's all sing Apotheker's praises. He's uniquely gifted! He's a global citizen!
    • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

      @SgtSpork HUZZAH! Indeed! These globalists all sit around at the Business Round Table and get invited to Bilderberg meetings and are given their walking papers for the globalist agenda. End game: A global micro elite uber rich owner class and a morass of wage slaves, with a thin layer of management bots, and a jack-booted class of thugs to enforce it all. Break free and get out of the matrix. Create your own reality people. Theirs is a trap.
    • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

      When the US economy's share of global consumption falls to the world average GNP per head, then the rest of the world might listen to what a US citizen has to say about equity and fairness of the world order.
  • Hope he can change the QUALITY of the computing products...

    Over the last few years, HP has declined in quality for computing. Laptops especially. I work on at least 2 HP laptops a week. Most have overheating problems among others. Just hope HE can make a difference in that direction, but for now, I WOULD NEVER advise someone getting a HP computer of any kind, especially their laptops.
  • Qualifications?

    He was "fired for non performance" by SAP in under 2 years as CEO. Appears language skills were not the magic bullet. Does he know Ohm's Law? Java? 802.11?? :-)
  • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

    ?HP is a global company and one of my attributes is being a global citizen,? he said. ?Speaking a few languages will help.?

    Well, I, for one, will no longer buy HP products. There's no such thing as a "global citizen" because there is no global nation.
    • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

      @hiraghm@... You're getting the picture. A global banking elite is working hard to create the one world government. It is "for your own good" that they make this great sacrifice. A global fiat debt based currency is coming down the road, just wait. First the EU, then eventually the NAU, then AsiaPac, African Union, on and on. It may take 50 years but that is their plan. Who gets a say in these changes. Surely not you or I. Only the "global citizens" of today. The uber rich, mostly Jews it seems, but that is irrelevant to the agenda, world government and total control of the population. Can't have free thinking in such a 'state'.
  • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

    HP printer software is just becoming useful. Under Fiorina, the install software did not work. I don't know if it has improved because they got better programmers, the programmers have figured out how to program, or they are giving the programmers enough time. I just hope they don't go elsewhere, and the software turns to you know what again. Global or American, cheap and bad help is not a good idea.
  • RE: HP's Apotheker: A

    Software and services, huh? Personally, I'd wager that in 2020, most of HP's income will be from memristors.
  • HP's board of directors are the dumbest on the planet.

    These are the retards that brought "Carly the destroyer" to completely take apart HP and Compaq, the number of lives destoryed by these incompent cretins is in the 10's of thousands.<br><br>If the shareholders weren't as stupid as the board, the board would get tarred and feathered and thrown into the street.
    Reality Bites