So who is Leo Apotheker and what does his appointment as Hewlett-Packard's new CEO mean for HP channel partners?
The news Thursday that HP had picked the former SAP CEO to replace Mark Hurd left some people scratching their heads. Apotheker is about as far from a Silicon Valley insider as you can get -- he worked at SAP's Waldorf, Germany, headquarters -- and few outside of the SAP universe know much about him.
Apotheker worked at SAP for more than 20 years, serving in a number of posts, including president of SAP's Europe, Middle East and Africa operation, and president of global field operations and customer solutions.
Apotheker became deputy CEO in 2007 and in April 2008 was promoted to co-CEO with Henning Kagermann, putting him in line to become CEO when Kagermann retired in May 2009.
But Apotheker's brief reign as CEO, coming in the depths of the global recession, was a rocky one. SAP struggled to maintain profitability and sales growth, with sales falling 8 percent in fiscal 2009. The company's technology and product development operations also ran into problems, most notably the company's efforts to bring its Business ByDesign on-demand applications to market.
Next: Apotheker's Channel Track Record