When HP (HPQ
) hired Apotheker in November 2010, it was seen as an aggressive push by the company into the software business. But many analysts mocked the choice, considering that Apotheker had just been forced out of his previous job as CEO of German business software maker SAP AG following ill-timed price hikes and widespread employee dissatisfaction.
Apotheker was supposed to be a steady hand to steer HP out of a tumultuous time but his strategic decisions were drastic and did little to inspire confidence. He was doomed by disappointing earnings
and a fumbled announcement that the company's personal computer division was for sale. Even as he struggled, Apotheker complained that HP suffered from years of under-investment by his predecessor, Mark Hurd.
Apotheker also was one of the chief backers of HP's acquisition of British software company Autonomy Corp. HP paid $10 billion for Autonomy, but later said it was deceived by improper accounting and overpaid.
After just 11 months, Apotheker was forced out and replaced by former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.