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.
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."But
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.