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HP Taps Outsider as CEO

Once again, Hewlett-Packard Co. has turned to an outsider, naming Leo Apotheker as president and CEO and former Oracle President Ray Lane as non-executive chairman.

Both appointments take effect Nov. 1, HP announced late Thursday. Apotheker spent 20 years at SAP and was CEO of the company up until early this year when he was forced to step down amid criticism that the company was too slow in getting its software-as-a service strategy off the ground, as reported.

Lane is managing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and has served on the boards of more than 20 public and private companies. He joined Kleiner Perkins in 2000.

In a statement released today, HP said Apotheker was "a driving force in making [SAP] the largest business software applications company in the world." At SAP, he bolstered R&D, expanded business models and customer segments, HP said.

"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," said Robert Ryan, lead independent director of HP's Board. "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."

Once again, HP has spurned key insiders in favor of an outsider to run the company. The executives replace Mark Hurd, who stepped down early last month amid allegations of an improper relationship and use of company funds.

Among those who were contenders for the top spot were Todd Bradley, who runs the company's client systems business, and Ann Livermore, who runs its large services organization. Livermore has now been passed over for the top slot three times.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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