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Leo Apotheker Replaced by Meg Whitman as HP CEO

It remains to be seen if the appointment of Meg Whitman as CEO of HP will make any difference at HP. Right now, the company needs a game changer. On top of the new CEO's to-do list is deciding what to do with the HP PC business -- kill it or save it. Deciding if HP should remain a computer maker or if it should transform into a software company is a delicate decision to make. The new CEO will have her hands full as she embarks on refurbishing HP businesses.

Former CEO Leo Apotheker

HP former CEO Leo Apotheker was born in September 18, 1953. He was a former CEO of SAP AG, and Hewlett-Packard at different times.

Leo Apotheker seems to be more of a linguist as he was fluent in Hebrew, English, Dutch, German, and French than a competent chief executive officer. Judging from his record at SAP followed by the 'one-year confusion' with HP, Leo lacks every trait of a CEO. His tenure was a sharp U-turn from the solid track created by Mark Hurd.

Leo Apotheker held several operations and financial positions in a few European companies before joining SAP as deputy CEO (2007 to 2008), and then as co-CEO. He became president of SAP from April 2008 to February 2010. He also sat in the supervisory board of Schneider Electric SA and AXA before his appointment as the new CEO by the board of directors of Hewlett-Packard on September 30, 2010. He succeeded Cathie Lesjak who was acting as interim CEO following the ousting of CEO Mark Hurd. His tenure lasted for a year (September 2010 to September 2011).

The board of directors appointed him as CEO of HP despite his terrible record as president at SAP. HP customers face-palmed and as a computer technician from Ohio puts it, "HP was preparing to die."

There was a drop in HP shares by 40% while he was in office. Then came the shocker, HP would be killing its personal computer business and discontinuing its newly acquired webOS. The personal systems group accounts for huge chunk of the company's revenue.

No doubt, Meg Whitman should be a far better CEO than Leo Apotheker was. She turned eBay around and she has various experiences at Bains, Disney, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro. We will see if she is good enough to turn HP around.

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