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HP may oust CEO after less than a year on the job

post #1 of 51
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After HP's TouchPad quickly flamed out against Apple's iPad and the company announced a controversial decision to spin off its low-margin PC business, Hewlett-Packard's board is now set to meet and consider ousting Leo Apotheker as its chief executive.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported Wednesday that HP's board has planned a meeting, and will discuss whether to remove Apotheker after he spent less than 11 months on the job. It was said that HP may appoint former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as a successor, potentially on an interim basis.

The rumors come just a month after HP announced that it would spin off its PC business, and scrap hardware based on the webOS mobile operating system. HP initiated a $99 fire sale of its recently released webOS-based TouchPad, a device that had debuted just months before at a $499 starting price, but failed to compete against Apple's iPad 2.

HP also recently announced it would acquire Autonomy Corporation in a $10 billion deal that irked some investors. Headquartered in Cambridge, Autonomy is the second-largest software maker in the U.K.

With Apotheker at the helm, HP's stock has plunged 47 percent. The former CEO of German software maker SAP has been head of HP since November of 2010.

Commenting on the potential ouster of Apotheker, analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities said Wednesday that he wouldn't be surprised if the current CEO became the "fall guy" for HP's ongoing woes.

"We have always thought that Leo was placed in the role on a short-term basis to take the fall for the company's under investment under the previous CEO," White said. "At the same time, we believe a new CEO could begin to build credibility for HP and join the company after quite a bit of damage has already been done."



Whitman, rumored to be Apotheker's potential replacement, has served on HP's board since this January. Prior to that, she made a failed attempt to become the governor of California.

Under Apotheker's leadership, HP decided to spin off its PC business and rethink its focus on webOS in an effort to sell products with higher margins. HP is the top-selling PC maker in the world, but its margins of just 5.7 percent are dwarfed by competitors like Apple, which has been estimated to make more on the sale of just one Mac than HP does from selling seven PCs.

With an estimated 28 percent gross margin and average selling price of $1,323.40 per Mac, Apple is presumed to earn a profit of $370.55 for every Mac sold. HP, meanwhile, has an average selling price of $650 and a presumed profit margin of 8 percent, which nets the company about $52 on the sale of each PC.

HP's previous CEO, Mark Hurd, left the company after an investigation into sexual harassment claims against him found the company's standards of business conduct were violated. Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison publicly lashed HP for their decision, comparing it to when Steve Jobs was run out of Apple in the 1980s by people Ellison referred to as "idiots." Soon after, Hurd was hired as co-president of Oracle.
post #2 of 51
He is one of those CEOs like Carly Fiorina. Little knowledge of technology. Their idea of a great moneymaking idea is to half the amount of ink in a printer cartridge and sell it for the same price as the old one. New 564XL cartridges are a good example.

Of course the intelligent person realizes it will just make people avoid HP in the future.
post #3 of 51
You're FIRED! Oh, and here's 80 million dollars severance. And we wonder why so many CEOs perform poorly. They have nothing to lose.
post #4 of 51
Super confused. The guy made two de decisions that will determine the future of hp for many years to come. Killing webos and killing the pc market. So why the hell would anyone want to come in after major decision have already been made, unless there is a big stock growth anticipated from the decisions that the new CEO can capitalize on without having to make any divisions.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #5 of 51
Can't say I am surprised in the least. Did not seem to have the gravitas required for a company of HP's size and stature, or the ability to set tone and vision.
post #6 of 51
Are you kidding me? She's an idiot. A nasty idiot. She makes Carly Failorina look like Steve Jobs.

Witless rode eBay (a good idea, which naturally she didn't originate) thru the dot com bubble. Once the bubble burst, eBay went pretty much nowhere for a decade under Witless and her successor. The only good decision she made during her tenure was to purchase PayPal, which I believe is where eBay makes most of its money now. That was a no-brainer which everybody in the industry suggested eBay do - I give her zero credit for doing the obvious.

Whitman's attempt to turn eBay into a "me-too" cut-rate Amazon clone has failed miserably, and her lame management seriously eroded eBay's core auction business, destroying the company's goodwill with its customers.

I guess by hiring Whitman, HP's incompetent board wants to finish the job they started. And by that I mean they want to ensure they destroy HP entirely.
post #7 of 51
Why the heck would he not have run his decisions by the board before taking them to get their buy-in? Seems prudent for an FOB CEO.

Of course he may have and they are just CYAing.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #8 of 51
HP and Yahoo have the worst BOARD EVER!

CNN: Obamacare largest tax increase in American history

 

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CNN: Obamacare largest tax increase in American history

 

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post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

I guess by hiring Whitman, HP's incompetent board wants to finish the job they started. And by that I mean they want to ensure they destroy HP entirely.

Amen to this. Well said.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #10 of 51
Sorry a** excuse for a company. Their calculators are spotting the same UI from 20 years ago buy carry a cheaper effing case. Their pcs are nothing but MS' stuff and they failed with their tired a** touch pad. Ha ha! HP Can go straight to hell.
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

Are you kidding me? She's an idiot. A nasty idiot. She makes Carly Failorina look like Steve Jobs.

Witless rode eBay (a good idea, which naturally she didn't originate) thru the dot com bubble. Once the bubble burst, eBay went pretty much nowhere for a decade under Witless and her successor. The only good decision she made during her tenure was to purchase PayPal, which I believe is where eBay makes most of its money now. That was a no-brainer which everybody in the industry suggested eBay do - I give her zero credit for doing the obvious.

Whitman's attempt to turn eBay into a "me-too" cut-rate Amazon clone has failed miserably, and her lame management seriously eroded eBay's core auction business, destroying the company's goodwill with its customers.

I guess by hiring Whitman, HP's incompetent board wants to finish the job they started. And by that I mean they want to ensure they destroy HP entirely.

1) She is PART OF this incompetent HP board.
2) She was terrible at eBay. Just the Skype acquisition was a joke (eBay may net even on it, simply because the world's largest SW company is run by an even worse CEO in Ballmer). I mean who goes and buys a company from the founders of the company, without even buying the patents that the company's products run on (yup....She bought Skype from the founders, only to get sued right after because the founders still owned the patents to Skype's technology!).
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Why the heck would he not have run his decisions by the board before taking them to get their buy-in? Seems prudent for an FOB CEO.

Of course he may have and they are just CYAing.

This IS CYAing. These are the moves the board WANTED HP to make. Why else do you think they hired the CEO of SAP (a consulting firm) to run HP? They wanted Apotheker to mold HP after IBM, which exit its HW business in favor of going largely consulting.

But now that the markets are panicking, he is the fall guy.
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Super confused. The guy made two de decisions that will determine the future of hp for many years to come. Killing webos and killing the pc market. So why the hell would anyone want to come in after major decision have already been made, unless there is a big stock growth anticipated from the decisions that the new CEO can capitalize on without having to make any divisions.

It makes no sense at all, so that's what makes me think this is basically a boardroom fight. A sort of revolt by the faction that was surprised by the two moves in question.

It probably won't work. It just shows how chaotic the whole situation is. HP is eating itself alive it seems.
post #14 of 51
They couldn't have done this before he killed WebOS?
post #15 of 51
Apple and HP over the last 10 years. What a tale of two companies......

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #16 of 51
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman Being Considered for HP CEO Job to Replace Apotheker

http://allthingsd.com/20110921/forme...ace-apotheker/

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post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwhite1000 View Post

He is one of those CEOs like Carly Fiorina. Little knowledge of technology. Their idea of a great moneymaking idea is to half the amount of ink in a printer cartridge and sell it for the same price as the old one. New 564XL cartridges are a good example.

Of course the intelligent person realizes it will just make people avoid HP in the future.


more like have it alert you of low toner while you still have 3 months of toner left
post #18 of 51
I think Whitman may have a tough go of it, but she certainly would not do worse than Apotheker.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #19 of 51
Whitman is a good choice, since Mike the Headless Chicken is no longer with us.
post #20 of 51
Maybe Steve Jobs wil be the new CEO of HP?
This has to be the real reason why Steve left Apple
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Maybe Steve Jobs wil be the new CEO of HP?
This has to be the real reason why Steve left Apple

Yes, I know you're joking, but he stepped down as CEO. He didn't leave.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Sorry a** excuse for a company. Their calculators are spotting the same UI from 20 years ago buy carry a cheaper effing case. Their pcs are nothing but MS' stuff and they failed with their tired a** touch pad. Ha ha! HP Can go straight to hell.

Whoa! Foul. BACK. THE. FRAK. OFF.

The modern HP calculator is actually a POOR reproduction of the original HP calcs. Those RPN calculators were works of art.

The RPN calcs "UI" was and still is an extremely efficient method of data input compared to an algegraic input. You don't have a clue what you are talking about. For the record that "UI" is older than 20 years old. The "UI" they produced 20 years ago was RPL. WTF? Worst. Idea. Ever.

HP ran their fantastic calculator line into the ground.
post #23 of 51
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

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post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Maybe Steve Jobs wil be the new CEO of HP?
This has to be the real reason why Steve left Apple

Seriously though, there is this guy working over at HP named Jon Rubenstein. He understands technology better than probably anyone else there. He also understands HP's biggest competitor better than anyone else there.
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

This IS CYAing. These are the moves the board WANTED HP to make. Why else do you think they hired the CEO of SAP (a consulting firm) to run HP? They wanted Apotheker to mold HP after IBM, which exit its HW business in favor of going largely consulting.

But now that the markets are panicking, he is the fall guy.

Yep, first they fired Hurd - who seemingly did have a vision of building HP into the other choice for a fully integrated vertical stack for mobile devices with the webOS purchase - over a dalliance with a consultant. He may have cut R&D too much (the accusation thrown around, no idea if that's the case), but...

Then there's no way they brought in Apotheker without having asked some basic questions like "Where do you want to take this company if hired?". Like they didn't know he was planning this? Like he didn't run it by them first??? The idiots on the board should fire themselves while they're at it, because they can't make wise decisions themselves. Maybe Apotheker can join Netflix and take over the new Quicken DVD division.
post #26 of 51
Have they considered getting in to 3D printers/prototypers? As text goes purely digital, it would seem the logical next step for the printer.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by FriedLobster View Post

HP and Yahoo have the worst BOARD EVER!

I think RIMM and MSFT are right up there too....
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

Are you kidding me? She's an idiot. A nasty idiot. She makes Carly Failorina look like Steve Jobs.

Witless rode eBay (a good idea, which naturally she didn't originate) thru the dot com bubble. Once the bubble burst, eBay went pretty much nowhere for a decade under Witless and her successor. The only good decision she made during her tenure was to purchase PayPal, which I believe is where eBay makes most of its money now. That was a no-brainer which everybody in the industry suggested eBay do - I give her zero credit for doing the obvious.

Whitman's attempt to turn eBay into a "me-too" cut-rate Amazon clone has failed miserably, and her lame management seriously eroded eBay's core auction business, destroying the company's goodwill with its customers.

I guess by hiring Whitman, HP's incompetent board wants to finish the job they started. And by that I mean they want to ensure they destroy HP entirely.

Agree with you 100%. Meg and Carly are the 2 worst CEO's of all time. And, I am all for giving women equal opportunity.

Meg paid herself a huge fortune in stock options for basically ruining the company.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

Maybe Apotheker can join Netflix and take over the new Quicken DVD division.

I think you are confusing Quicken with Quixtar.
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Have they considered getting in to 3D printers/prototypers? As text goes purely digital, it would seem the logical next step for the printer.

Uh, No.
post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Agree with you 100%. Meg and Carly are the 2 worst CEO's of all time. And, I am all for giving women equal opportunity.

Meg paid herself a huge fortune in stock options for basically ruining the company.

Carol Bartz has some free time on her hands.
Oh, and she has a f*¢#!%g iPad.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

They couldn't have done this before he killed WebOS?

They should've keep Hurd.

BTW, didn't SAP dump Leo because he was running them into the ground too?

webOS is an odd duck - pretty and unique, but still has some of the same issues that has been plaguing it since 2009, with the HW the Touchpad has for example, it really should fly, without any sort of lag or hesitation.
post #33 of 51
How is this Apple related news?
post #34 of 51
No one ever paid me a dime for doing a crappy job. Something is seriously wrong with the way business in done in America.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMacGuy View Post

No one ever paid me a dime for doing a crappy job. Something is seriously wrong with the way business in done in America.

You don't have buddies in high places.
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Carol Bartz has some free time on her hands.
Oh, and she has a f*¢#!%g iPad.

Hahahaha! That's classic!
post #37 of 51
I would too! I mean WTF!!! WebOS has so much potential. Even if it isn't number 1, it will still be competition so that nobody gets lazy.

I hate HP for buying Palm then basically saying nevermind. It blows. Their tablet is actually not all that bad. The hardware isn't the greatest, and the software needed a bit more optimization, but for crying out loud, it felt like they didn't give it a real chance, or invested too much and basically over spent on it and ruined it that way.

OH WELL.

Also, lol@ non apple related news. AI just doesn't care what the posters here are telling them.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Super confused. The guy made two de decisions that will determine the future of hp for many years to come. Killing webos and killing the pc market. So why the hell would anyone want to come in after major decision have already been made, unless there is a big stock growth anticipated from the decisions that the new CEO can capitalize on without having to make any divisions.

I guess they can still backpedal on the PC decision, since they haven't had a Crazy Eddie sale on those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Seriously though, there is this guy working over at HP named Jon Rubenstein. He understands technology better than probably anyone else there. He also understands HP's biggest competitor better than anyone else there.

But he's never used an iPhone.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMacGuy View Post

No one ever paid me a dime for doing a crappy job. Something is seriously wrong with the way business in done in America.

Come on over! We hand you your severance package agreement when you get off the plane...
post #40 of 51
HP have lost the plot.

The best thing they said several months ago was how they intended to bring WebOS to their notebook and PC range. That to me was inspired. A nice easy OS (that's not Windows and so you have control over it yourself), on your own PC range (think total control ala iPhone and iOS), with proper functionality between tablet and PC, and they were onto a winner.

Then the CEO dispatches WebOS and the PC divisions! What a moron! Yes HP may have very little margin in these areas, but they still have some margin! You don't just hand that to everyone else in the market!

Nutcase. Surprised it took 11 months to get rid of him.

As for the loon they are about to employ - I despair for the HP board. They need to get someone in with a vision and half an ounce of understanding of the market and their customers.
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