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12/5/2010
07:52 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: HP Ousts Hurd And Seeks Software Strategy: Top 10 Story #3

HP's CEO-suite melodrama resulted in the company now being run by a software executive. Meanwhile, HP's numbers stayed strong.

Immediately after former HP CEO Mark Hurd left the company under an embarrassing cloud in early August, the world's largest IT company entered a period of intense external scrutiny and second-guessing centered on its strategic positioning for the future, its ability to move as fast as smaller competitors, and its relatively small software business.

Then, in late September, HP surprised the IT world by picking former SAP executive Leo Apotheker to be its new CEO, clearly betting that his long-time tenure in sales at SAP would compensate for his glaring lack of success as a CEO.

As I wrote in a column called Global CIO: HP CEO Apotheker Has Deep Expertise But Checkered History, I offered this perspective on HP's new CEO:

"Let's take a look back just eight months ago at the state of SAP when Apotheker was ousted by chairman Hasso Plattner at a time when the company had clearly lost its way in the market, was getting hammered by Oracle, seemed unable to get vital new products out the door, and was frighteningly out of touch with its customers. . . .

"Here was the state of SAP at the time of Apotheker's ouster in early February: Plattner said SAP had lost the trust of its customers and its partners, and that SAP employees were "not happy" employees. He said the company's development models were outdated. You can read extensive analyses of Plattner's comments, as well as his verbatim remarks themselves, in these two columns: Global CIO: An Open Letter To SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner and Global CIO: SAP's Last Chance: It's The Customers, Stupid!."

As for Apotheker's comments since taking over at HP, they're been almost nonexistent. Here's a glimpse at what he'll want to pursue with regard to software, from a recent column called Global CIO: HP CEO Leo Apotheker's Agenda: What Will He Do First?:

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