Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker hasn’t been known for his fiery presentation style — he comes from SAP, and is well versed in the calm tones of enterprise computing. Which is why it was so refreshing to see him show some fire at today’s HP strategy event in San Francisco.
Here are some of the shots he took.
- Can HP catch up with IBM in services? “We don’t think we’re playing catch-up to anyone, least of all IBM.”
- Can HP catch Amazon and others in cloud computing? “We will catch up and you can ask me then.”
- But how? “How we catch up is pretty damn simple.” He cited HP’s huge enterprise sales force and said, “We are seeing a lot of demand from enterprise customers who want this service today. They want SLAs, they want security…. There aren’t many other companies that can provide that globally. In fact, there are none.”
- Can WebOS compete with Apple in smartphones and tablets? “We don’t intend to play in the junior league.”
- Can HP repair its rift with Oracle?: “This industry is characterised by a word that was invented for it, ‘co-opetition.’ What really matters is the customer. We will do whatever we need to do to keep joint customers happy.”
- Will HP ship Windows tablets? “We just need the right version of Windows to do that.”
All in all, Apotheker gave the impression that he understands what HP needs to do to continue growing, and that he’s in charge of moving the company in the right direction. Now comes the hard part.