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HP ousts Léo Apotheker, appoints Meg Whitman as new CEO

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
HP's board has removed the chief executive it appointed just short of a year ago, Léo Apotheker, and has appointed former board member Meg Whitman in his place.

The move comes as HP has plummeted in value following Apotheker's announced vision of spinning off the company's personal computer business and killing its fledgling webOS hardware line of tablets and smartphones it acquired from Palm last year to instead focus on enterprise software.

A year ago, Oracle's chief executive told the Wall Street Journal he was "speechless" that HP had appointed Apotheker, writing that "HP had several good internal candidates [] but instead they pick a guy who was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP."

Oracle was embroiled in an infringement case with SAP and subsequently fought HP to subpoena Apotheker in the case. Ellison also hired HP's former chief executive, Mark Hurd, who Apotheker replaced, provoking HP to sue over the threat of Oracle gaining access to HP's secrets.

Ellison also took a shot at HP's board, noting "none of the HP board members own much HP stock so they have little to lose. But the HP employees, customers, partners and shareholders will suffer.

The HP board needs to resign en masse right away," Ellison wrote. "The madness must stop." Ellison also compared HP's firing of Hurd to Apple's mistake in pushing Steve Jobs to leave the company in the mid 1980s.

HooPs

Instead, things just got worse for HP as Apotheker's software vision for the company discounted the company's core hardware businesses and prompted the expensive acquisition of Autonomy, an enterprise software business similar to the SAP Apotheker was familiar with running.

HP's chairman Ray Lane announced that the company's appointment of Whitman was "fortunate," saying, "we are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead.

"Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution. She is a strong communicator who is customer focused with deep leadership capabilities. Furthermore, as a member of HPs board of directors for the past eight months, Meg has a solid understanding of our products and markets."

In February, blogger Mark Stephens, writing as "Robert Cringely," predicted that HP would soon oust Apotheker as a poor fit, suggesting Whitman as a prime candidate for his place, given that she was a failed candidate in her race to be California's governor.

"Then theres Meg Whitman," Stephens wrote, "who expected at this point to have resigned from the HP board to spend all her time running California as governor. But that didnt happen, so now what is she to do? You can only get so many pedicures. Shell eventually get around to hip-checking Apotheker and taking his job."

HP now appears more likely to retain its Personal System Group building PCs, and although it has already begun laying off webOS engineers, making it unlikely that HP will bounce back into competition with Apple's iPad in the near term.
post #2 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

HP's board has removed the chief executive it appointed just short of a year ago, Léo Apotheker, and has appointed former board member Meg Whitman in his place.

Meg Whitman is not a former HP board member. She's a current board member (she joined the board of directors eight months ago) and will remain on the board.

She is the former CEO of eBay.
post #3 of 52
Cringley says a lot of crazy stuff. I guess it stands to reason that he'd eventually get something right.

I wonder at what point we will see a shareholder revolt against this board
post #4 of 52
post #5 of 52
Apparently HP has sold a few MacBooks in Australia
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #6 of 52
all the events that have turned the recent history of HP into a corporate soap opera
post #7 of 52
Congratulations to Léo Apotheker, his reward is a $25 million severance package. Not bad, huh?

Now the former head of Mr. Potato Head (when she was at Hasbro) takes over. I can't wait to see the new tablet designs that come out of HP.
post #8 of 52
Hope this works out for her and HP. Maybe capitalize on the new WebOS user base and improve it's PC business. Apparently all she needs to do is undo a number of bad ideas and she'll already be a relative visionary.
post #9 of 52
Ebay was a successful company during Meg's tenure but that's because it was a hot new idea. Administration and management were, and are, awful. Ebay is to Hewlett Packard as Tijuana is to San Diego. Hewlett Packard is to Apple as KAI is to BMW.

It's a very smart move to cut their losses and dump Leo. He was terrible.

But replacing him with Meg? Dumb, dumb, dumb.
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Cringley says a lot of crazy stuff. I guess it stands to reason that he'd eventually get something right.

I wonder at what point we will see a shareholder revolt against this board

I wad thinking the same thing, but damn if he didn't nail every detail.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #11 of 52
I wonder What an old fashioned Japanese CEO would have done.
: Bad Joke, Bad joke!
post #12 of 52
Glad I left HP stock years ago when they spun off Agilent. Agilent wouldn't hire such a nut to be their CEO.
post #13 of 52
Maybe HP will fall far enough that Agilent can buy them and reclaim the HP name.

I worked for HP briefly during the Fiorina regime. So sad to see such a great company mismanaged into oblivion.

- Jasen.
post #14 of 52
The folks at HP are as delusional as Kadafi! To heck with that company.
Meg will be gone in less than a year. What is she going to do, really? Further cut down on the ink in them pricey a** ink cartridges while jacking up the price?
post #15 of 52
The basement nerds are already shivering with anticipation, pleading with HP to bring back the TouchPad (for $99 of course). It's their White Knight that will finally defeat the iPad. Will their hopes be dashed once more? Bet on it.
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Maybe HP will fall far enough that Agilent can buy them and reclaim the HP name..

or change the name to HPeepee
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesmall View Post

Ebay was a successful company during Meg's tenure but that's because it was a hot new idea. Administration and management were, and are, awful. Ebay is to Hewlett Packard as Tijuana is to San Diego. Hewlett Packard is to Apple as KAI is to BMW.

It's a very smart move to cut their losses and dump Leo. He was terrible.

But replacing him with Meg? Dumb, dumb, dumb.


I so totally agree with you. Meg is no visionary, and Ebay is no success. It is a cesspool and every experience with ebay (no more anymore) has left a bad taste in my mouth.

I think HP seriously needs to fire its entire board, get a lot of sensible people on the board and start all over again. This company has been in doldrums every since Carly baby screwed the pooch and took over Compaq. Now HP wants to sell its PC division.

Maybe the board members who revolted against Carly were right after all.

Thank god I don't hold any stock in this company. Go Apple Go Steve Go Tim.!
post #18 of 52
About time! I was guessing this should/would happen.

But now I'm thinking: CEO = chief executive officer, the main man of •executing• strategy.

So who defines strategy at HP? These board members are saying they're the ones, now. Uh so they were on holiday previously? Didn't they have to approve Leo's crazy strategy beforehand? If they didn't devise it, they at least approved it.

This is obvious - it is far easier to sack (someone else) the CEO than to (sack themselves) take responsibility!

This board is running on "looks like", "I hear" and other "olympic" management techniques.

Now the stock holders should just outright sack this board and ask Ellison who to appoint for HP's board and CEO - never someone from outside the IT industry! Pretty sure an old timer (in the IT industry) like him would have the heart to give good unbiased advise.

Such as setting WebOS as open source and run the tablet division as "a hobby" in the hopes of it growing and flowering up from the support of a WebOS community. And change HPs strategy to the only possible one - creating ecosystems, invest deeply and neither start copying nor doing same-sung stuff... Establish an HP "tribe", such as Apple's! Then the CEO must be an inspiring wizard such as Steve... Invest in quality not quantity. Etc. Even monkeys would know what to do...

I can't understand how come that for years companies have been hunting and hiring CEOs like if they were at a fruit shop. It's like that position is less well thought out than the company's concierge or phone operator... How can that be? $25 million (x700) trashed...

As someone said, out of these here boards they could get pretty decent CEOs for these companies, probably better than the ones they find at the fruit shops they go to... (not applying though)

Maybe Mr. Hewllet and Mr. Packard (hope I'm not misspelling) didn't make up a contingency plan for CEO succession like Steve Jobs'. They could have devised a set of criteria to pick a CEO for HP for example.

Lessons to be learned, all the time, everywhere...
post #19 of 52
Another overpaid loser getting ready to open her golden parachuse.
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by XamaX View Post

About time! I was guessing this should/would happen.

But now I'm thinking: CEO = chief executive officer, the main man of •executing• strategy.

So who defines strategy at HP? These board members are saying they're the ones, now. Uh so they were on holiday previously? Didn't they have to approve Leo's crazy strategy beforehand? If they didn't devise it, they at least approved it.

This is obvious - it is far easier to sack (someone else) the CEO than to (sack themselves) take responsibility!

This board is running on "looks like", "I hear" and other "olympic" management techniques.

Now the stock holders should just outright sack this board and ask Ellison who to appoint for HP's board and CEO - never someone from outside the IT industry! Pretty sure an old timer (in the IT industry) like him would have the heart to give good unbiased advise.

Such as setting WebOS as open source and run the tablet division as "a hobby" in the hopes of it growing and flowering up from the support of a WebOS community. And change HPs strategy to the only possible one - creating ecosystems, invest deeply and neither start copying nor doing same-sung stuff... Establish an HP "tribe", such as Apple's! Then the CEO must be an inspiring wizard such as Steve... Invest in quality not quantity. Etc. Even monkeys would know what to do...

I can't understand how come that for years companies have been hunting and hiring CEOs like if they were at a fruit shop. It's like that position is less well thought out than the company's concierge or phone operator... How can that be? $25 million (x700) trashed...

As someone said, out of these here boards they could get pretty decent CEOs for these companies, probably better than the ones they find at the fruit shops they go to... (not applying though)

Maybe Mr. Hewllet and Mr. Packard (hope I'm not misspelling) didn't make up a contingency plan for CEO succession like Steve Jobs'. They could have devised a set of criteria to pick a CEO for HP for example.

Lessons to be learned, all the time, everywhere...

Two t's, one L. Hewlett and Packard. Too bad they died when they did--when HP was soundly run. Perhaps if they had seen such stunts attempted they would have put the forethought into the future like Steve has done at Apple.

HP died the day they spun off Agilent.
post #21 of 52
I just love the word OUST .....
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggiti View Post

I just love the word OUST .....

Rhymes with 'HP is TOAST' (said with a Southern accent....)
post #23 of 52
HP spinning off it's PC business is like Ford spinning off its car making business. Utter madness.

I hope HP do start up WebOS again. I think it had potential and was utterly amazed when they scrapped it. In a year or two it could have been something I had a look at. I find Android aesthetically vulgar and undesirable for many other reasons. WebOS looked nice.
post #24 of 52
I haven't seen the Poseidon Adventure in a long time, but The HP Adventure seems like an acceptable alternative.

In addition, Whitman will last a few months, because she will run for some other political office before March 2012.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggiti View Post

I just love the word OUST .....

I'm just happy they didn't *quietly* oust him.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #26 of 52
What... has HP just become a bush league for failed right wing politicians?
post #27 of 52
When I first heard the rumors, I thought Carol Bartz would be a much better choice. Meg really doesn't have much going for her from a management capability.

What is the board thinking... that they want a return to the glory days of fellow political aspiree Carly's reign?! Shareholder revolt...
post #28 of 52
What has happened in the past five years is nothing short of stunning. I really did not see all this coming. I mean, Microsoft (yes, WinNT and Win2000 was pretty decent for its time, especially during Apple's dark days), HP and Intel are one of the iconic brands of my Generation Y, alongside Nintendo, Sega and Sony.

But Steve is proven to be yet the visionary again and some people will never understand how he did it. His Stanford speech is the clearest description of his stratagems. Something along the lines of "You can't connect the dots going forward... You have to follow something... your gut, destiny, life, karma... And believe that it will connect looking backwards. Because believing that it will connect will give you the confidence... even if it leads you off the well-worn path".

Steve didn't worry too much about corporate gamesmanship, what the competition was doing, how the economy would go, what bailouts would happen, what the Board would think and so on. He trusted that the dots would connect, even when life "hit him with a brick" with multiple health problems, leaks, "AntennaGate", whatever.

Looking backwards, the dots for Apple connect so well it's uncanny.

As for the most of the rest of the tech world, since they hadn't really believed in anything for the past decade, the dots are just poo thrown at a wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XamaX View Post

About time! I was guessing this should/would happen.

But now I'm thinking: CEO = chief executive officer, the main man of executing strategy.

So who defines strategy at HP? These board members are saying they're the ones, now. Uh so they were on holiday previously? Didn't they have to approve Leo's crazy strategy beforehand? If they didn't devise it, they at least approved it.

This is obvious - it is far easier to sack (someone else) the CEO than to (sack themselves) take responsibility!

This board is running on "looks like", "I hear" and other "olympic" management techniques.

Now the stock holders should just outright sack this board and ask Ellison who to appoint for HP's board and CEO - never someone from outside the IT industry! Pretty sure an old timer (in the IT industry) like him would have the heart to give good unbiased advise.

Such as setting WebOS as open source and run the tablet division as "a hobby" in the hopes of it growing and flowering up from the support of a WebOS community. And change HPs strategy to the only possible one - creating ecosystems, invest deeply and neither start copying nor doing same-sung stuff... Establish an HP "tribe", such as Apple's! Then the CEO must be an inspiring wizard such as Steve... Invest in quality not quantity. Etc. Even monkeys would know what to do...

I can't understand how come that for years companies have been hunting and hiring CEOs like if they were at a fruit shop. It's like that position is less well thought out than the company's concierge or phone operator... How can that be? $25 million (x700) trashed...

As someone said, out of these here boards they could get pretty decent CEOs for these companies, probably better than the ones they find at the fruit shops they go to... (not applying though)

Maybe Mr. Hewllet and Mr. Packard (hope I'm not misspelling) didn't make up a contingency plan for CEO succession like Steve Jobs'. They could have devised a set of criteria to pick a CEO for HP for example.

Lessons to be learned, all the time, everywhere...
post #29 of 52
Jobs, Gates, Zuck, Brin & Page, Buffet. I don't know it seems that the superstar CEOs or founders who we think of as visionary and innovative are all political liberals.

Seems to me the mindset and instincts that make one a conservative also prevent one from being a creative, inspiring and trailblazing business leader. So much for conservatives being good at business, eh?

HP is doomed.
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple1991 View Post

all the events that have turned the recent history of HP into a corporate soap opera

In the UK they make really good brown sauce.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingNewMedia View Post

Congratulations to Léo Apotheker, his reward is a $25 million severance package. Not bad, huh?

Now the former head of Mr. Potato Head (when she was at Hasbro) takes over. I can't wait to see the new tablet designs that come out of HP.

Etch-A-Sketch springs to mind.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

HP is doomed.

The above sentence is not a joke this time around.

Meg Whitman was hired as a marketing expert to guide an already founded .com business to greater marketability. Bunk to the idea of her being a tech visionary.

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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post #33 of 52
What a train wreck.
post #34 of 52
.....
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walney View Post

Unfortunately that hasn't been true for years - it's made in the Netherlands.

Yet another example of outsaucing...

That's the best one-liner EVER!

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

HP spinning off it's PC business is like Ford spinning off its car making business. Utter madness.

HP spinning off Agilent was utter madness. Everything since then has been the consequences of that terrible mistake playing out.

Here's Agilent's CEO's bio:
"Sullivan, who was senior vice president and general manager of Agilent's Semiconductor Products Group (SPG) before being named COO, joined Hewlett-Packard Company in 1976 and during the course of his career, developed considerable expertise in telecommunications, data communications and computers. In 1995, he was promoted to general manager of the Optical Communication Division, and two years later was named general manager of the Communication Semiconductor Solutions Division. Sullivan became general manager and vice president of the Components Group, (renamed SPG), in 1998. In 1999, when Agilent was spun off from HP, he was named to the top position within SPG."

There's your real HP. Agilent's senior management is filled with people who joined HP in the 70s and 80s. Spinning off Agilent cut the heart out of HP.

The shareholders should get rid of the BoD and appoint someone from within HP as CEO. Hiring outside tells everyone in the company they are incompetent.

- Jasen.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesmall View Post

Hewlett Packard is to Apple as KAI is to BMW.

I am curious if you mean Kia to BMW.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

HP spinning off Agilent was utter madness. Everything since then has been the consequences of that terrible mistake playing out.

Here's Agilent's CEO's bio:
"Sullivan, who was senior vice president and general manager of Agilent's Semiconductor Products Group (SPG) before being named COO, joined Hewlett-Packard Company in 1976 and during the course of his career, developed considerable expertise in telecommunications, data communications and computers. In 1995, he was promoted to general manager of the Optical Communication Division, and two years later was named general manager of the Communication Semiconductor Solutions Division. Sullivan became general manager and vice president of the Components Group, (renamed SPG), in 1998. In 1999, when Agilent was spun off from HP, he was named to the top position within SPG."

There's your real HP. Agilent's senior management is filled with people who joined HP in the 70s and 80s. Spinning off Agilent cut the heart out of HP.

The shareholders should get rid of the BoD and appoint someone from within HP as CEO. Hiring outside tells everyone in the company they are incompetent.

- Jasen.

Well, maybe Whitman should cancel the acquisition of the SAP wannabe that Apotheker initiated and instead target Agilent for merger. Then to a brain transplant and replace HP senior management with Agilent.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Jobs, Gates, Zuck, Brin & Page, Buffet. I don't know it seems that the superstar CEOs or founders who we think of as visionary and innovative are all political liberals.

Seems to me the mindset and instincts that make one a conservative also prevent one from being a creative, inspiring and trailblazing business leader. So much for conservatives being good at business, eh?

HP is doomed.

Why pollute the thread with political crap? It's not like we have a forum just for that, right?

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #40 of 52
According to a report in Bloomberg, "Whitman, in her first interview as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO, said the company stands by plans to acquire U.K. software marker Autonomy Corp. for $10.3 billion. The company also will continue to explore whether to sell or spin off the personal-computer division, she said."

The board is simply hoping that Whitman will more positively execute their suicide strategy.
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