Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has filled the hole in its corner office, naming Leo Apotheker, a fomer CEO of German software giant SAP (SAP), to replace Mark Hurd as CEO. The storied Silicon Valley tech pioneer had ousted last month in a sexually tinged expenses scandal. Hurd has since joined Oracle (ORCL), the tech company run by his friend Larry Ellison.
The move is something of a surprise because Todd Bradley, executive VP of HP's personal systems group -- the $42 billion mobile and PC business -- had been seen as the favorite.
Apotheker had been CEO of SAP before stepping down in early 2010. "Leo is a strategic thinker with a passion for technology, wide-reaching global experience and proven operational discipline -- exactly what we were looking for in a CEO," Robert Ryan, HP's lead independent director ,said in a statement. "After more than two decades in the industry, he has a strong track record of driving technological innovation, building customer relationships and developing world-class teams."
Said Apotheker: "HP has a powerful mix of businesses, products and services, one of the most innovative cultures in the industry, and an accomplished management team who have played a critical role in its success. I am deeply honored to be joining the more than 300,000 dedicated HP employees."
HP also named Ray Lane, managing partner at venture capital titan Kleiner Perkins, as nonexecutive chairman of the board. Both elections are effective Nov. 1. Earlier this week, HP offered an optimistic forecast for its 2011 financial performance.
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