Former SAP chief Apotheker named CEO of HP

After a nearly two month search, HP said Thursday that it had selected Leo Apotheker to succeed ousted CEO Mark Hurd. Apotheker had resigned from business software firm SAP in February of this year after serving for nearly two years as the company's chief executive, and a total of nearly two decades within the company.

The company has also named Ray Lane as its new chairman. Hurd had served as both HP's chairman and CEO. In naming Apotheker, HP passed over several potential candidates from within, including printer business chief Vyomesh Joshi, PC head Todd Bradley, storage and server unit chief Dave Donatelli, and enterprise division chief Ann Livermore.

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

Both appointments would take effect on November 1. Interim CEO Cathie Lesjak would return to her role as the company's chief financial officer according to a statement from the company.

HP is likely hoping to move past the Hurd debacle, having now named a CEO, and settling its suit against Oracle over his hiring there earlier this month. The company's stock price has taken a hit as a result of the uncertainty, falling some nine percent since Hurd left.

That said, hiring outside has not always worked out for the electronics company. Its two previous CEOs -- Carly Fiorina and Hurd -- were both outside hires (Lucent and NCR respectively), and both lost the confidence of the Board and were asked to resign.

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