Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ex-SAP CEO Leo Apotheker - Named as New CEO and President of HP

September 30 2010, Thursday. Hewlett-Packard named former SAP chief executive Leo Apotheker.

Is this going to boost the partnership of HP and SAP?
How about a services unit that competes with IBM?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mark Hurd Resignation: Top 10 Candidates to Replace Him

News that Mark Hurd is resigning as Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive is only minutes old, but already the focus is on who will be his successor.

The company told investors during a conference call this afternoon that candidates inside and outside the company will be considered.

Here, according to people familiar with the company, is a list of top Silicon Valley and technology-company executives that H-P could reach out to:

Todd Bradley, an executive vice president who runs H-P’s personal computer business. PCs are the heart and soul of H-P and under Bradley’s leadership H-P has become the world’s largest PC company, surpassing Dell and International Business Machines. The success of the typically low-profit-margin PC business depends on keeping costs down, which Bradley has done with an iron fist. He is the former CEO of Palm (which H-P purchased this year) and he has held senior positions at GE Capital and Gateway Computer.

Ann Livermore: An H-P veteran of more than 20 years, she runs the company’s enterprise business, which includes its highest growth, highest profit-margin products, such as technology services and corporate storage and services, including the EDS business. One possible strike: Livermore was passed over for the CEO post when Hurd got the job in 2005.

John Joyce: He is a managing director at Silver Lake, a technology focused private-equity firm, sits on H-P’s board and used to work at IBM.

Cathie Lesjak, interim CEO. She’s telling investors this afternoon that she’s not interested in the full time job. In her 17 years at H-P, she’s worked in the company’s Treasury department helping managing the company’s books.

Bob Wayman, former H-P finance chief who retired in 2006. He was H-P lifer, joining the company in 1969. He served as an interim CEO after Carly Fiorina stepped down in 2005.

Here are possible external candidates, which include stars in the tech world.

Ned Hooper, chief strategy officer and M&A chief at Cisco and potential heir apparent to Cisco CEO John Chambers. Cisco has been grooming him for the eventual top spot, but the chance to run H-P–fast becoming one of Cisco’s largest competitors–could be irresistible.

Steve Elop, chief of Microsoft’s business division, which handles MS Office. He was formerly chief operating officer of No. 2 networking company Juniper Networks. Known as a no-nonsense taskmaster, Elop is a veteran in the technology industry, having served in senior positions at Adobe Systems and Macromedia.

Ray Lane, Oracle’s former CEO who left in 2000 after a spate with company founder Larry Ellison. Lane now works at venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Greg Brown, Motorola co-CEO, who has been cited as helping to turn around the long struggling mobile phone company.

Kevin Johnson, former head of Microsoft’s online and Windows operations. He was heavily involved in Microsoft’s failed push to buy Yahoo in 2008 and left that year to become Juniper’s chief executive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Accenture's Country Manager Retires

Business process outsourcing (BPO) firm Accenture yesterday said its Philippine head, Beth G. Lui, has retired and was replaced by Manolito Tayag as country managing director and George Son Keng Po as head of the local Delivery Center Network (DCN) for Technology. “[Ms. Lui] has made an invaluable contribution to the company and leaves a legacy of excellence and leadership in Accenture over the last 31 years,” the firm said in a statement. Mr. Tayag will have “overall operational responsibility for the growth and sustainability of the business in the Philippines,” which has 15,000 workers. Mr. Tayag was a member of the board of directors of the Philippine Software Industry Association from 2006 to 2007. Mr. Son Keng Po, meanwhile, has been with Accenture for 23 years and “brings tremendous solutions delivery experience and leadership in application management, custom and package design and installation, data conversion, and software re-engineering in the resources and financial services sectors.” As head of the DCN for Technology he will be “responsible for the overall operations, delivery, and business results of the delivery center.” Benedict Hernandez remains as BPO operations chief.

Apotheker resigns as SAP's chief executive

The chief executive officer of SAP, Leo Apotheker, has resigned his post and from the company's board, after the board declined to extend his contract.

The resignation, which was reportedly by mutual decision, is effective immediately.

To replace Apotheker, the SAP's board has appointed co-CEOs: Bill McDermott, head of field organization, and Jim Hagemann Snabe, head of product development.

"The new setup of the SAP executive board will allow SAP to better align product innovation with customer needs," SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner said in a statement. "The new leadership team will continue to drive forward SAP's strategy and focus on profitable growth, and will deliver its innovations in 2010 to expand SAP's leadership of the business software market."

Stung by lower sales and earnings, SAP actually beat expectations in the final quarter of 2009. The company in January reported sales of 10.67 billion euros (US$14.9 billion), 8 percent lower than the 11.56 billion euros (US$15.82 billion) from 2008.

Despite the downturn, overall fourth-quarter sales and especially those from software-related services beat estimates from both the company and analysts. Operating margins for the full year also were better than expected. SAP attributed the improvement in part to cost cuts and layoffs it had announced earlier in the year.

Apotheker was appointed co-chief executive in 2008, serving with then-current CEO Henning Kagermann. He took over the role of CEO in 2009 after 19 years with the company.

Source: ZDNETAsia

Sunday, March 7, 2010

SAP bets on software for sustainability

What's an enterprise software company doing getting into sustainability? After all, the environmental footprint from software production pales in comparison to resource-intensive industries such as power generation or even running data centers that deliver Web services such as search.

SAP is trying to get ahead of the curve in environmental sustainability strictly for business reasons, according to Peter Graf, who last March was named chief sustainability officer at the Germany-based software heavyweight.

SAP's customers are businesses, which need to comply with regulations, such as reporting greenhouse gas emissions or tracking hazardous substances it may use.

But that's just the beginning. SAP is designing software to manage environmental and social aspects of a business, which can contribute to the bottom line or lower risk, argues Graf. For example, an obvious way to hedge against the volatile price of oil is to use less of it, he says. But that's just one of many natural resources--water, metals, food, energy--that companies can manage more intelligently.

That's where software comes in. Enterprise applications make their mark in business by automating processes such as managing a supply chain. Now, there are tools to manage the natural resources companies use. Last month, SAP released a hosted application called Sustainability Performance Management, a dashboard to track factors such as a company's carbon footprint or water use.

ZDNet Asia's sister site CNET spoke to Graf about SAP's internal push around sustainability and industry at large.

Q: A lot of companies don't have regulations that force them to lower their carbon footprint or make efficient use of natural resources. So what's the pitch to them for your software?
Graf: The pitch has been evolved through observation after about 100 customer interactions so far. I usually divide people into three categories. The first category are people who ignore the topic as long as they can. They consider having to move when there is a law or a supply chain partner [forces them]. By the way, SAP customers demand information from us so they can continue doing business with us. They want to be sure we have human rights policies, we have an environmental policy--specific requirements. The business case for these people is to comply at the lowest cost and risk.

That's about half the market today. The other part, which is about 45 percent, is who I call the opportunistic guys. They optimize their productivity in terms of resources such as energy, water--any natural resource--because there is price volatility which is dramatic in oil, water, food. That's happening because we are adding 2 billion people who all want their fair access and, since there is only so much that the planet can produce, prices are going up.

The other side of the opportunistic thinking is to think in terms of products. Anything from laundry detergent to electric cars, sustainably produced shoes, anything you can think of. The reason here is that consumers are becoming so much more aware and they are really driving this conversation. They demand accountability, they demand information, they demand that organizations are transparent. And there is a branding aspect to this, which helps attract employees.

The third group are the ones that go about this strategically--I always mention Nike, Coca-Cola, or Nestle. These companies have figured out that if you do not change the way you operate, you're putting your business model at risk. So for SAP, we think we need to change our software because we think it will be harder to sell software systems that don't have sustainability built in them in a comprehensive way. For Nestle, to make very high-quality food they need to have a working planet that's not polluted and there is a reliable supply of natural products. Coca-Cola is very aggressive around water and water protection--the vast majority of the water they use goes into watering sugar cane. Nike, which has a lot of outsourced manufacturing, can't afford to have any irregularities in terms of human rights, because it hurts their brand.

It seems like there's been a higher awareness among consumers about global warming over the past few years. But you're saying that that may not be the biggest motivator for a business to take environmental sustainability seriously.
Even if a business doesn't necessarily need to be concerned about global warming, [they need to be concerned with the environment]. In principle, a car doesn't need a working planet. Why would a company that produces cars look at [sustainability], apart from the branding issue and the ability to sell a product? Well, [consider] the resources you need to produce that car. Today we put copper cables--and copper prices have really gone through the roof--into the car. Then it comes back, it's crushed, it's melted. And now you have a lot lower-grade steel because there is copper "pollution" in it. The problem is that to retrieve that copper, which gets more and more scarce, the cost is so high.

There's something wrong in the cycle. If you want to produce cars in a hundred years that use copper, you're going to find a way to retrieve that copper. Otherwise we'll be in the landfills not far from today digging out natural resources. Right now, it's a linear chain: we extract stuff from the ground, we go and process it, we consume, and we dispose of it. That's the thing that's concerning people. It needs to be a cycle.

So what's the business case for managing natural resources?
Right now, it's all about mitigating risk from volatile prices.

So what sort of software have you developed to deal with this?
Carbon impact is an application that allows an organization to assess and act on information about energy and carbon--how much energy they use globally and what carbon impact comes from that.

That's one of the applications where SAP creates information--just like in an HR system you would have information about attrition, or a financial system would have margin and revenue information. So sustainability is about managing all of this, creating a view where you can look at the entire organization on aspects of social, environmental, and economic impact.

It's about setting targets, it's the monitoring targets, it's about benchmarking against others in the company--plant A versus plant B--and others in your industry, and finally reporting on this information.

Has SAP become more sustainable since you became chief sustainability officer? What have you changed in the process?
Graf: I would absolutely say so. There are a couple of areas. There's a change on the internal side of the house--in other words, what we do ourselves. And there's been a change on the enabler side of the house, which is what we do for our customers.

The most important thing is that we now have a mindset and targets and an understanding of sustainability that is managed and elevated to the strategic level. We used to be tactical in sustainability since 1996.

What's the difference between a strategic and tactical approach to environmental sustainability?
Tactical is defined as partnering to develop some point solutions, helping people comply with regulations--more the reactive stuff. (SAP bought carbon accounting software company Clear Standards last May.)

When sustainability is part of corporate strategy, you want to have visibility into the business at a level that is much higher than you need to just comply with regulations. You want an ability to manage a performance, report, and predict outcomes. You need to understand the operational elements, extract information, and give people insight and then take action.

I see that many times companies have sustainability going on in the marketing department but not in the operational divisions. As a sustainability officer, I work where value is at a software company, which is the creation of the software. That's really the shift that has happened. I think sustainability officers are best served in this sort of situation. So if you're in a consumer goods company, you should probably have responsibility for product management. If you work in chemicals, you should probably know how energy is used to run your plants.

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