Hewlett-Packard named former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker as its new chief executive, effective Nov. 1, 2010. Now that speculation about HP's choice for its next CEO has concluded, the chattering can begin in earnest about Apotheker's suitability for the job, and whether his presence will be a positive one for HP.
"I bring to HP a lot of international and global experience," Apotheker told reporters and analysts during an Oct. 1 conference call. "HP is a global company, and one of my attributes is that I'm a global citizen."
The blogosphere immediately lit like a holiday tree, with bloggers and pundits wondering whether Apotheker's presence meant HP would make an acquisition run at SAP. Apotheker resigned from SAP in February, in the wake of a poor 2009 earnings report. "For anyone to buy SAP, it's going to be an enormous financial undertaking, it'll have a huge cultural impact," Andrew Butler, vice president of research at Gartner, told Bloomberg Oct. 1. "So if it's going to come, it's not going to be immediate. SAP isn't exactly a company in trouble. They are still an extremely successful company."
But other pundits seem concerned about Apotheker's enterprise-software background, suggesting he lacks the knowledge of consumer hardware and software necessary to take HP into the future.
For more, read the eWeek article HP's Apotheker Inspires Doubt, Praise.