HP ousts Léo Apotheker, appoints Meg Whitman as new CEO

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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 HP?s 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 there?s 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 didn?t happen, so now what is she to do? You can only get so many pedicures. She?ll 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    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
  • Reply 3 of 51
  • Reply 4 of 51
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Apparently HP has sold a few MacBooks in Australia
  • Reply 5 of 51
    all the events that have turned the recent history of HP into a corporate soap opera
  • Reply 6 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,741member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    I wonder What an old fashioned Japanese CEO would have done.

    : Bad Joke, Bad joke!
  • Reply 11 of 51
    Glad I left HP stock years ago when they spun off Agilent. Agilent wouldn't hire such a nut to be their CEO.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 51
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    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
  • Reply 16 of 51
    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.!
  • Reply 17 of 51
    xamaxxamax Posts: 126member
    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...
  • Reply 18 of 51
    Another overpaid loser getting ready to open her golden parachuse.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    I just love the word OUST .....
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