HP’s board of directors has announced the election of a candidate from outside the company, Léo Apotheker, as chief executive officer and president, succeeding Cathie Lesjak, who was named interim CEO in August 2010 after former CEO Mark Hurd resigned following a sexual harassment investigation.
Apotheker, who previously served as CEO of business software company SAP, will also join HP’s Board of Directors. Robert Ryan, lead independent director of the HP board said, “Léo 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.
"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.”
Ryan continued, “Léo has been a leader in anticipating the transformation taking place in our industry, and we believe he is uniquely positioned to help accelerate HP’s strategy. He has demonstrated success in the US market and also has vast international experience – which will be a major asset as HP continues to expand globally, particularly in high-growth emerging markets."
Commenting on his appointment, Apotheker says, “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 honoured to be joining the more than 300,000 dedicated HP employees. Given HP’s diversified products and services, its financial strength, and its leadership position across markets, no other company is as well positioned to drive – and profit from – the revolutionary changes under way in the marketplace."
Lesjak, who has served as HP’s chief financial officer since 2007, remains CFO and continues to serve as a member of the executive council. The board also announced the election of Ray Lane as a new member of the Board, designating him as non-executive chairman.
Lane said, “I am excited to join the Board of this pioneering company, and look forward to working closely with Léo – and the rest of the board and senior management team – as they capitalise on the changes taking place across the industry.
"I have known and admired Léo for almost 20 years. He is ideally suited to build on HP’s strong foundation, leverage its many assets and keep the company at the forefront of innovation.”