HP’s New CEO: Five Things You Need to Know
Starting November 1, Hewlett-Packard’s new CEO will be former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker (pictured). Admittedly, Apotheker isn’t exactly a household name among many VARs. So, what do channel partners need to know about Apotheker and his business background? Here are five fast facts worth noting.
1. Seasoned M&A Manager?: The 57-year-old Apotheker cut costs and oversaw some of SAP’s biggest acquisitions as sole CEO, before unexpectedly leaving earlier this year after SAP had its first annual sales drop since 2003, notes Bloomberg.
2. More Software, Please: Apotheker’s appointment reinforces HP’s need to double-down on software, especially as competition between HP and Oracle potentially intensifies. Let’s not forget: Apotheker spent most of his career at SAP competing pretty darn well against Oracle. Now, he’ll have a second chance to take on Larry Ellison and company.
3. International Man of Mystery: SAP is headquartered in Germany but Apotheker has a global view. While at SAP, he held executive level positions involving North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa during his march up to the CEO post.
4. Money Man: Apotheker was the founding president and chief operating officer of ECsoft BV, one of the largest European venture capital start-ups, from 1992 to 1994, his biography indicates. That venture capitalist experience could treat HP well, as the company scours the market for more M&A targets and R&D opportunities.
5. Channel Lieutenant: Sure, SAP wasn’t known as a channel powerhouse under Apotheker’s leadership. But let’s not forget: Former HP CEO Mark Hurd never disclosed how much of HP’s revenues flowed through the channel. And on the upside, HP Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco remains in place; DiFranco, formerly of Lenovo, has a strong track record with partners and is expected to attend the Ingram Micro VentureTech Network conference (Ingram Micro VTN) the week of October 4 in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, The VAR Guy will be watching to see how HP’s Executive VPs react to Apotheker’s appointment. Several of those Executive VPs had been mentioned as CEO candidates. But instead of grabbing the CEO crown, they’ll be reporting to Apotheker starting November 1.