In the lofty environs of the executive suite at HP (news, site) a new name is being engraved on the top door!

In the Hot Seat

After the shenanigans that saw the removal of Mark Hurd from the big chair at HP, it has taken the company a good couple of months to find his replacement. And, in something of a shock, the company has looked outside the boardroom.

Enter German, Leo Apotheker, until earlier this year head of SAP, where he was in charge from 2008 until February. He will take up the HP position on November 1st using a hefty relocation package (over US$ 4 million) to get him to the States with a $1.3 million salary and $4 million bonus plus shares.

In the News

HP has been racking up the headlines recently in all areas of its business with the battle to buy 3PAR, the quest for more SMBs and the top-level comings and goings. The new hire came as a shock to the market (the company's shares took a dive 3%), and presumably many HP directors who thought they were in with a shout at the top post.

Apotheker ran SAP (for the most part as joint-CEO) with the consensus on his efforts being that he did the best at a bad time for that company. Mark Hurd has since joined Oracle (whose CEO Larry Ellison is a good friend) as co-president.

Into the Future

HP seems to have hired Apotheker to help revitalise its software and solutions side. With the hardware business and services side doing pretty well after Hurd's reforms following the Carly Fiorina era.

As head of the world's leading brands, Apotheker will face massive pressure to get the company moving after its recent acquisitions (including Palm) and prove he can lead the brand forward.