Meg Whitman succeeds Leo Apotheker as CEO of HP
Now that was quick. Just yesterday, the rumor about HP’s current CEO Leo Apotheker getting the pink slip surfaced and today it’s a done deal: ex eBay head Meg Whitman replaces Apotheker as chief executive of one of the largest tech companies in the world.
Whitman is not just an interim fill-in - she’s taking over the company in the long term. While some have pointed out that she doesn’t have the experience running a tech company, others have noticed her communication skills and understanding of customers, something Apotheker might have been sorely missing.
But does this bring a new strategy? Not necessarily. Whitman has taken a conservative stand saying that the strategy was right (why change the CEO then?), but the problem is in the execution. Spining off the PC division is still on the discussion table and it will be decided on by year-end. As to webOS, the new CEO is still looking to "optimize its value."
The ousted CEO, on the flipside of things, will part the company with a $25 million severance package, consisting of over $7 million in cash and $18 million in stock. Phone and tablet aficionados will remember the now former CEO for basically killing the $1.2 billion webOS project at HP by ditching such devices as the TouchPad and the Pre 3. During his time at HP, the company’s value decreased by 47% and the company has announced it’s about to spin off its core PC business.
Interestingly, in just the last couple of years HP has went through the costly process of changing CEOs multiple times. Mike Hurd, who quit HP over a mysterious sexual harassment allegations scandal, got $12.2 million. CFO Cathie Lesjak stepped in for three months as an interim CEO and got a total of $3.6 million. Ex-CEO Carly Fiorina was granted $21.4 million in cash and $21.1 million in stock. The grand total for HP's CEO decisions comes at the whopping $83.3 million.
Additionally, a $11.7 billion acquisition of British software company Autonomy has been negotiated as part of the Apotheker plan of turning HP into a SAP-like enterprise software giant and it will be hard to reverse all of that, if that’s Whitman’s plan. After getting appointed, Whitman said: "I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters – it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world."
We leave it up to you to say what needs to be done and what your expectations are about the future of HP. Could we see webOS reborn as some would hope? While you think about it, feel free to take a look at Apotheker’s final email to employees below.
TO/ All HP Employees
FROM/ Léo Apotheker
Dear HP Employees:
This afternoon, HP issued a press release announcing my resignation as president and CEO, positions I have held with great honor this past year. Meg Whitman will assume the role of president and CEO.
As you know, Meg is a technology visionary with a proven track record of execution and has served HP well as a member of the board for the past eight months. Meg will be supported by a broad and deep management team, and I have the utmost confidence that HP will succeed in executing its strategic evolution.
On a personal level, I cannot begin to express the admiration I have for all of you – and what you have accomplished together. Over the past year, we were tasked with developing a strategic vision for HP and I know we have made important contributions to the company’s future.
Your efforts on behalf of HP and your dedication to our customers have inspired me – and I am confident that HP has a bright future because of the talented people that come to work here every day. Thank you for your commitment to HP and for your dedication in serving HP’s customers and partners. It has been a tremendous honor and a pleasure to work with you here at HP.
+- Press Release
HP Names Meg Whitman President and Chief Executive Officer
Ray Lane appointed executive chairman; Léo Apotheker steps down as president, chief executive officer and director
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HP (NYSE: HPQ) today announced that its board of directors has appointed Meg Whitman as president and chief executive officer.
"We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman's caliber and experience step up to lead HP"
In addition, Ray Lane has moved from non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors, and the board intends to appoint a lead independent director promptly. These leadership appointments are effective immediately and follow the decision that Léo Apotheker step down as president and chief executive officer and resign as a director of the company.
"We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman's caliber and experience step up to lead HP," said Lane. "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."
Whitman said, "I am honored and excited to lead HP. I believe HP matters – it matters to Silicon Valley, California, the country and the world."
Speaking on behalf of the board, Lane said, "We very much appreciate Léo's efforts and his service to HP since his appointment last year. The board believes that the job of the HP CEO now requires additional attributes to successfully execute on the company's strategy. Meg Whitman has the right operational and communication skills and leadership abilities to deliver improved execution and financial performance."
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