Changing of the Guard at HP, Yahoo

By Cindy Waxer October 01, 2010

These are strange days for Silicon Valley’s CEOs. In a move that surprised shareholders and industry analysts alike, Hewlett-Packard Co. has replaced ousted CEO Mark Hurd with Leo Apotheker, an HP outsider and 57-year-old German who served as SAP AG CEO before leaving the software giant in the throes of faltering financial performance.

HP’s board bid Hurd adieu amid allegations of sexual harassment in early August. Upon news of Apotheker’s hiring, HP shares fell $1.21, or 2.9 percent, in extended trading. Reuters reports that HP will pay Apotheker an annual salary of $1.2 million, plus a signing bonus of $4 million. Apotheker will also be granted 76,000 shares of restricted stock, according to an HP regulatory filing.

“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 the HP Board, in a statement. “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.”

News of Apotheker’s new position arrives just as three top Yahoo Inc. executives announce their departure from the Internet company, putting the pressure on CEO Carol Bartz as she approaches the end of her second year.

The defecting executives include Hilary Schneider, an executive vice president who spearheaded Yahoo’s advertising in the U.S.; David Ko, a senior vice president in charge of mobile and audience; and Jimmy Pitaro, a vice president who ran the division that produced the heavily trafficked news, sports and finance sections of Yahoo’s website. The company said it expects to name Schneider’s replacement by year-end, and she will stay on to help with the transition.

"We wish them all the best in their future endeavors," Yahoo said in a statement about the exiting executives.




Edited by Erin Harrison

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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