HP Shares Slide Following New CEO Appointment

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New HP CEO Leo Apotheker has some work to do to convince the company's investors that he is the right man for the job.

HP shares were trading as high as $43.15 before his appointment as CEO on Thursday and closed down overall by some five percent to $40.77 on Friday.

"The initial investor reaction was slightly negative, but not totally unexpected given that Apotheker's name had not surfaced as a leading candidate and most investors in HP are hardware-centric," said Brian Alexander, a managing director of equity research for Raymond James & Associates, an investment firm, in a research note to clients. "Our conversations with software investors suggest a more positive tone. Apotheker's previous experience as CEO at a large software firm also makes him well acquainted with many global CIOs, which should make the transition in the eyes of large customers a bit less disruptive."

Alexander said he does not see "Apotheker's lack of hardware experience as an obvious negative. In our view, this indicates that he will rely on the seasoned executives already running these business units.


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