Software Executive Leo Apotheker Named to Head HP

Former SAP exec tasked to oversee HP's move into IT services, software and storage markets.

Hewlett-Packard named Leo Apotheker, a veteran software executive, as chief executive and president on Sept. 30 as the world's largest computer manufacturer gears up to tackle new markets.

Apotheker, 57, who resigned as CEO of Germany's SAP in February after a brief tenure, replaces Mark Hurd, who resigned as HP chief in early August after a sexual harassment probe uncovered subterfuge with company expenses.

Apotheker, who spent more than 20 years at SAP, one of the world's largest business software companies, was also named to the HP board of directors. He will begin work at HP on November 1.

The choice of Apotheker came as something of a surprise to financial analysts, many of whom had been expecting a company insider to be named to replace Hurd.

As competition increases in the crowded market for personal computers and printers, HP has been steadily expanding its offerings to include information technology services, software and storage.

Earlier this month, HP completed its 2.35-billion-dollar acquisition of data storage firm 3PAR and in April it purchased U.S. mobile phone maker Palm for $1.2 billion.

HP chief financial officer Cathie Lesjak has been serving as interim CEO since Hurd stepped down. HP said she will remain CFO of the company.

Hurd, the former HP CEO, joined business software maker Oracle this month, prompting a lawsuit against him by HP which was quickly dropped.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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