back to article HP dumps Apotheker for Whitman

HP has named Meg Whitman as its new president and chief executive officer, parting ways with Leo Apotheker, who took the reins at the IT giant just ten months ago. In a press release, the company also said that non-executive chairman Ray Lane – a partner at Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – is now …


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  1. Miss Lincolnshire

    So what do we get now?

    ..................another slash and burn merchant like Hurd? or is she actually going to stabilise and build something worthwhile.

    I was quite happy in EDS. What the hell did we do to deserve that we ended up badged as a part of this chaotic mess.

    1. RichyS


      I'm sure the UK tax payer can think of a few good reasons that EDS deserve what they get.

      1. Miss Lincolnshire

        There's one common factor in all Govt IT cock ups. Civil Servants. Nuff said.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Exactly. Look at almost all government IT outsourcing deals - common theme: Problems. Why? Because the spec changes every month during the development phase. EDS were a LOT better than every other IT company I dealt with. I know Court Services regretted moving supplier (3 years in, old EDS'ers are still sub-contracted to do the work!)

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            RE: Ms Lincolnshire - civil servants

            Having contracted on a number of UK government deals, both for vendors/resellers and actually for government departments, I can tell you the dithering and constant golapost moves produced by civil servants were not viewed as a problem by the majority of salespeople, indeed they looked forward to them as a means of gouging out more money. Only the stupid salespeople actually set payment for completion, the rest have been selling it to government departments on waypoints and daily rates for years, which means the more changes in project waypoints meant more money and more chargeable days. The techies and project managers used to groan about "project reallignments" because we could see the waste and idiocy involved, but the salespeople would rub their hands with glee. Meanwhile, the civil servants would merrilly push what often seemed random and ill-considered changes from senior mandarins and politicians as those constant changes kept them in a job. In short, there was no-one interested in pegging down the goalposts other than the Treasury beancounters.

            What did annoy me was the number of times decisions were made by senior civil servants on projects without consulting people with actual technical knowledge. The number of times I'd sit through project kickoffs and see the outline as "we buy untested and new software here, slap it on kit which we have no experience with here, and - voila! - it all becomes a working system here", just beggars belief! And this was whilst sitting shoulder to shoulder with resident civil servant techies with that actual required knowledge, whom had not been consulted, equally shocked becuase they could see the gaps and were the ones expected to provide the magic pixie dust to somehow make the white elephant fly! Objections would be raised, likely problems pointed out, all ignored by the managers in charge (and the vendors, who would largely just like to sell the hardware or software and then scarper), and then we would all be back in the same room in six months for a "project reallignment meeting", where we'd start the whole circus again, whilst the salespeople involved would happilly be elsewhere placing orders for their new BMWs.

    2. Gordon 10

      And there was me

      Thinking that EDS specialised in delivering chaotic messes - particularly to the British tax payer.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Levente Szileszky

      RE: So what do we get now?

      "another slash and burn merchant like Hurd?"

      Well, at least Hurd DID have a vision, HP DID grow and he was expanding vertically.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The only company worse than EDS at delivering anything worthwhile... Capita. Not something to be proud of.

  2. Piloti
    Thumb Up

    WEB O/S

    Back on the cards ?

    I do hope so.....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I guess I can kiss goodbye to any chance of a rise then. There's Leo's golden handshake and Meg's golden hello to pay for.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: oh!

      Hmmm. The grass isn't greener anywhere else, to be honest, all the guys I know working in major vendors are grumbling about payrises being on hold. On the plus side, if you're in the hp employee shares scheme, with Leo having knocked 45% off the shareprice your monthly purchase should buy lots more shares, so if Meg drives them back up you'll get more money back later! There, I've not only shown you the good side, I've even given you the incentive to work harder (for the same money) under Meg!

      /Yeah, I am a "all-clouds-have-a-silver-lining" kinda guy, in an evil way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Balls to that.

        I'm sick of making plenty of cash for HP, exceeding my targets but not getting a share of it myself. Instead the (extremely fat and increasing) margins are being used to fund whatever stupid scheme the board comes up with this week. Can't even get WFRed. Bastards. Time to hit the road.

  4. RichyS


    So Whitman is ideal for the job because she once bought a load of servers for eBay? An online consumer focussed tat bazaar...

    I've bought a fair amount of Apple kit in my time. Can I expect a call from their board to take over from Tim Cook any time soon?

    HP used to be a great company. What the hell happened?

    1. Manu T

      RE: HP used to be a great company. What the hell happened?

      They neglected their core business (calculators and printers).

      HP is the pissbowl o/t IT-industry. They deserve this.

      It's about time these dinosours get killed of. Time to make room for others to make money and become rich. Those old geeks in their suits have done enough damage.

      1. Daniel B.

        They used to have awesome workstations and servers as well (HP9000). I believe Carly axed PA-RISC and went for the shItanium...

        At least they still have calculators...

    2. Stoneshop

      "HP used to be a great company. What the hell happened?"

      They've started calling themselves Agilent, that's what happened. And there's a purveyor of printer ink that's been split off and taken the name HP with it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      More than likely Apotheker got the boot because the board did not like the public and stock holders reaction to the announcements of the past few weeks. Wouldn’t this also implicate the board not just for choosing him for the job but also for approving his policy changes.

      What we are seeing is the problem with today’s enterprise. Economic theory tells us that we should have a planning horizon of 7 - 10 years. Today's enterprise are run just on a three month horizon ... the only objective they seems to have is to make the next quarters figures.

      The board should also fire itself.

    4. TeeCee Gold badge

      I thought that.

      I've bought an absolute shitload of booze over the years, so someone should be headhunting me to run a major brewery soon then.

      Mmm....a six-figure salary and FREE BEER!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ladies at the top

      There's so few women CEOs in large companies, I just hope she doesn't fail dismally as it doesn't bode well for the glass ceiling otherwise. Yahoo's Carol Bartz didn't do a very good job did she.

      1. CubeMonkey

        ...and Carly Fiorina.

    6. Rob Moir

      I know what you mean. She may turn out to be fantastic for the job, and I hope so because they need some stability there, but the idea that she once purchased a lot of computers on, i mean for Ebay isn't much of a justification.

      Maybe she'll buy skype from MS. How is HP's comms portfolio?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      HP used to be a great company

      What happened was that the two people who actuallly knew how to make that company thrive received their bus passes and then made their way to the land beyond. Which was a very great pity. Those who took over the company then figured that splitting the company in two and pushing good employees out of the door was the way to make good profits. Which might have been a good short-term strategy, but it left behind the also-rans and we've ended up with the chaotic mess we see today.

      You are right, they were a great company. And part of me wants to believe they still are. I think in general they are at a local level, but the problem is with the upstairs crew who seem to have got themselves into a self-perpetuating mode of operation by replacing one CEO after another with someone with questionable skills.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Is this the same Meg Whitman who made the inspired decision... try and graft Skype onto the twitching flabby rump of eBay?

    As a non-shareholder and non-owner of anything by HP, I look forward to the next episode of corporate idiocy on display.

  6. Tim Spence

    "as the CEO of eBay, she was required to purchase large amounts of hardware"

    I've read about lots of hardware, does that make me qualified?

  7. Raz

    I just hope it's not Fiorina 2... But why do I care? I never had stock, I never worked for them, it's just one of the few companies that I used to respect...

    1. Captain TickTock

      Surely you mean...

      Fiorina 161?

  8. Sil

    HP has only itself to blame.

    What a stupid decision to name L. Apotheker CEO. The board should have resigned in disgrace.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meg = Carly 2.0 = iCarly

    Things in common so far:

    1) Fucked up a Tech giant - leave in disgrace;

    2) Spent a truck load of your ill gotten gains from 1) on a run to become a Republican Senator for California based on the MILF factor;

    3) Buy pants suits at the same place;

    4) Like cats and horses. (I'm guessing.. )

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      MILF factor? What? Have you seen Meg Whitman?

      Different strokes and all, but Carly's actually decent looking, she isnt exactly a MILF but she's an attractive woman for her age. Meg Whitman on the other hand looks like a bottle blonde troll.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        No Meme Discrimination Here :-)

        "Meg Whitman on the other hand looks like a bottle blonde troll." .... FrankAlphaXII Posted Friday 23rd September 2011 00:34 GMT

        Much to the delight and relief of bottle blond troll lovers, FrankAlphaXII

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Meg Whitman on the other hand

        Oh it's a hard life.....

  10. Andy Mac

    "On the conference call, Lane said that Whitman was prepared to handle a large hardware operation because, as the CEO of eBay, she was required to purchase large amounts of hardware."

    I buy a lot of food. It doesn't mean I'm qualified to run a farm.

    1. PTR

      But, er, you do run a farm, don't you Andy? ;-)

  11. Pete 43

    $99 for APOTHEKER

    stock limited

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: $99 for APOTHEKER

      Shouldn't that be "stock unwanted"?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Um - who exactly should be replaced?

    ...We messed up with Leo, here's Meg...

    ...We messed up with Hurd, here's Leo, he'll fix everything...

    ...We messed up with Carly, here's Hurd, he'll fix everything...

    ...We need a strong leader, here's Carly Fiorina....

  13. cd

    Next step...

    They should merge with Yahoo... :^)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Next Step is...

      Copy the Moto/Google strategy, with HPQ/WebOS and Yahoo?

    2. Captain TickTock


      may I be the first to congratulate the new board

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is operating execution ?

    "It is our operating execution that needs to improve, and I believe Meg Whitman can help us do that." WTF does that mean? And what does Meg know about selling ink cartridges in an " improved operating execution " manner ??? Everything else if foobar .. (EVERYTHING!!)

    Larry, Mark - masterstroke.. the fuckers are going to hemorrhage to death. Sad for anyone that loved HP/COMPAQ/DEC/TANDEM/EDS. (and various others to numerous to name).

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman's caliber and experience step up to lead HP," said all their competitors too......

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Having worked for Count Dracula... I mean Hurd... at one time a long time ago, I can only really imagine Auntie Meg has been drafted in to suck the last shareholder value out of the shell of HP.

    Although, that said, based on what she did at eBay, you'll have to purchase all your equipment using PayPal (or a HP credit system), pay HP additional for shipping and also pay HP 10% of any money you make using a HP system. So maybe the board are on to something. Could be a real money maker for them?

    Anon cuz of the Count Dracul reference :)

  17. bill 30

    I am sorry... but all I can say is.... Those fucking idiots

  18. Billl

    Next CEO?

    Larry Ellison.

    1. Vic

      Re: Next CEO?

      > Larry Ellison.

      Larry Page.


      1. Kirbini

        RE: Next CEO

        >> Larry Ellison.

        >Larry Page.

        Larry the Cable Guy

  19. Eddy Ito


    Let's see, I'll give me 5:2 on a stint of less than 21 months for Meg the non-interim see ego or bankruptcy? I've known HP was toast since we got new PCs at the office and we had to download several of the hardware drivers from the HP website because they weren't preloaded on the new Z400 workstations, really.

    1. Vometia

      "I've known HP was toast since we got new PCs"

      You get new PCs? Blimey, things have actually improved since I was at DEC where we had to hire our own equipment from 3rd party resellers or go without.

      I hasten to add that by saying "improved" in one respect, I'm not implying that things are good; everything I've heard about HP suggests they're an absolutely bloody awful company to work for.

  20. Robert E A Harvey

    "careful and thoughtful deliberation"

    That will have been a new experience for them, then

  21. earplugs

    Apotheker maybe EU President next?

    Looks like the EU is going to take a dive, maybe -40% just like at HP and SAP

  22. IO-IO

    round and round we go

    Let's not forget its the board that hires the CEO. Since they keep getting it wrong perhaps it's time for new board members.

    It is largely irrelevant who is at the helm, the massive amorphous mess that is HP will never change. It's too full of long time employees that have lost touch with what the modern IT world is and are happy to keep their heads down and disappear in the corporate machine.

  23. Melanie Winiger

    Check the FT

    Good article from John Gapper on the debacle "Failure of Duty by the HP Board"

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Check the FT

      Ah, but Lane is being very careful to announce loud and wide that the members of the board have changed, and this is not the same board that hired Leo..... Self-preservation 101.

  24. Mr Nobody 1

    re: Hurd

    "Well, at least Hurd DID have a vision, HP DID grow and he was expanding vertically."

    Fnaar Fnaar

  25. JaitcH

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Apotheker out - good; Whitman in - bad - only retail experience; HP share values - UGLY!

    They also need a complete new board of directors some didn't even interview Apotheker before voting him in.

  26. Rosco

    Brewster's Millions

    Apotheker needs to find another company to play Brewster's Millions with. Seriously, the WebOS wheeze was better than the vintage stamp one in the original film.

  27. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Apothiker for Greek President?

    Well, he is German that acts like a Greek.....

  28. xperroni

    "Carly Fiorina".

    That were the first words to come up in my head.

    Does it qualify as male chauvinism?

  29. Miss Lincolnshire


    Seeing as ebay are continuing to make a damned sight more in commission on Touchpad sales than HP have managed to write off then maybe the new CEO choice was inevitable

  30. Smoking Man

    Revolutionary ideas

    I see them coming:

    Travel freeze (except for SVP level and above)

    Hiring freeze (except for beancounters)

    No pay raises ( see bonus section later)

    Accelerated WFR and offshoring (except for SVP level and above)

    No bonuses (except for those who deserve it, SVP level and above..)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      4 legs good, 2 legs better

      As any fule kno the proletariat are motivated by beatings while only SVP and above are motivated by reward

      So don't forget the 5% to 10% pay cut with reduced mileage rates, for those who are allowed out, whilst at the same time announcing lots of new better paid SVPs whose first job is to write workforce wide emails thanking their predecessors for doing such a good job before they are sent off "taking up new opportunities outside of HP with immediate effect".

      "The people's flag is deepest red, It shrouded oft our martyred dead........................"

  31. cloudgazer

    I wonder if HP hopes to win a prize for most CEO debacles in a decade? Maybe they could get that old Apple CEO who used to hide under his desk out of retirement next?

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