HP CEO Leo Apotheker: "HP Has Lost Its Soul"

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Photo: HP

HP’s new CEO Leo Apotheker is doing everything he can to establish himself as the anti-Mark Hurd, HP’s ex-CEO, BusinessWeek reports.Whereas Hurd slashed costs, and crushed morale, Apotheker says, “We have cut enough costs.” He wants to invest in R&D, and get employees feeling more entrepreneurial. He tells BW, “People need to be a little more empowered in this place.”

Why is he saying all of this? Because he thinks “HP has lost its soul” under the watch of Mark Hurd.

While employee morale was certainly destroyed, and R&D slipped mightily, the stock market sure did love Hurd. And since taking over HP, Apotheker has mostly let down investors. He was a no name that sent the stock tanking on day one. It climbed back, but HP issued weak guidance last quarter, which hammered the stock. (During his brief tenure the stock is flat overall.)

Apotheker’s plan for HP is to acquire more businesses to grow its weak software division. He’s also planning on sticking WebOS, its mobile operating system, on every PC it sells to create a bigger platform to entice developers.

And for what it’s worth, he hints that he’s willing to fire cynical executives who don’t want to get on board with his plan: “The one thing I’ve learned is to try to manage my temper better and get rid of cynics sooner.”

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