7 Questions For HP's New CEO

Taking HP To The Next Level

In his first public comments as HP's new CEO , Leo Apotheker says software is the secret to making HP more than the sum of its parts.

The former CEO of German software giant SAP also said in a conference with Wall Street analysts that he will also use his international experience to help the company grow faster in emerging markets.

"I am truly deeply excited about being at HP," he said. "It is a fantastic opportunity. I am very much looking forward to getting on the road and meeting our employees, our customers, our partners and of course our shareholders. Very sincerely, I don't think there is another company in technology that can match HP's opportunity in the marketplace."

Here are Apotheker's responses to seven important questions put to him during the conference:

1. What's your vision for moving HP further into the software world?

I believe and the management team believes that HP should be more valuable than the sum of its parts. In order to make that happen we all believe and HP has a long standing commitment to this that software is sort of the glue to make that happen. Software (allows us to) differentiate on our industry standard platform. Software knowledge can make sure that various parts of our technology actually fit well together.

2. Talk about your plan to retain HP's current management team.

I believe that HP's senior management team (including Personal Systems Group Executive Vice President Todd Bradley) is the best and the brightest in the industry. And I am very privileged to be able to work with such a great team. The first thing I did when I joined this company was to reach out to each member of the senior executive team. We talked. These are great professionals. They have HP in their blood. I am sure as a team we will be working together for many years doing a great job.

3. Where do you see underappreciated investor value?

I happen to believe that HP is an undervalued property. HP is a company with great assets, great people, great capabilities, fantastic execution, a strong balance sheet. So if I look at it from an outsider in, which I am not anymore but which I was a few days ago, I happen to believe that it is a company that has way more value than what is currently attributed to it.

4.What is your plan to get to know the company?

The first thing I really want to do in this new job is I intend to hear and learn a lot from the HP people. I am going to do that in the following weeks and even months traveling around the world.

I want to meet with as many HP people as I can. I want to learn from them and listen to what they have to say. I want to do the same thing with our customers and of course with our shareholders as well. So that is my first focus. I will try to this as effectively and as rapidly as possible. And stay tuned for more news to come.

5. What do you bring to HP?

I bring to the stable an asset that HP is less grounded in, even though it is a great company in that business as well, that is software and to a certain extent high added value services. I plan to bring that personal value to HP so that we can create that mix and have an even broader portfolio of capabilities that we can bring to bear to the market.

6. What is your view on Oracle's strategy?

HP is acting in all of the parts of the stack and the entire value chain of technology. We see and I think we all agree on this at HP we see that there is massive disruption happening around all of the value chain and all of the components of the technology stack.

We have the talent in house to be an effective driver of not only each layer of the technology stack and the changes but also to put it altogether into a cohesive strategy for our customers and clients worldwide.

7. Where Will Oracle Invest In The Software Stack?

HP has such a diversified mix of businesses and products and services that I believe that we are uniquely positioned to be a strong player in every part of the stack. It is a little bit early for me and it would be somewhat presumptuous to say which exact part of which element we are good or better at.