former CEO, HP, SAP
former HP, SAP
Léo Apotheker is the former president & CEO of Hewlett Packard (HPQ), the largest technology company in the world measured by sales. During his tenure, Léo launched the transformation of the company with a focus on higher value added hardware, software and services for enterprise and commercial customers. He rekindled innovation and R&D as witnessed by HP’s full stack cloud initiative and he started to streamline the company.
Before his service at HP, Léo was the CEO of SAP AG the global leader in enterprise application software. Léo is a truly global CEO, with a dense network spanning all continents and regions. Léo is Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Schneider Electric S.A., and a well known public speaker.
Léo started his business career as a financial controller for the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From there he moved to S.W.I.F.T. in Brussels where he was identified as a high potential talent. It’s there that Léo discovered his passion for technology and software in the early 80’s, and moved to McCormack & Dodge Paris based EU headquarter to drive the company’s continental European expansion.
In 1988 he was recruited by SAP with the entrepreneurial challenge to conquer the French and subsequently also the Belgian market.
In 1992, Léo co-founded ECsoft, a venture backed pan-European start up and served as President & COO until 1994.
Léo returned to SAP in 1995 and became the company’s driving force behind achieving undisputed global market leadership from the late 90’s until early 2010. Indeed, he lead the EMEA region from 1999 until 2002 delivering double digit growth rates every year and turned around the flagging fortunes of the company in the US market in 2002 and thereby establishing the basis for market leadership and growth for the company in this highly contested market. He was appointed President and Member of the Management Board (EC) in 2002 Deputy CEO in 2007 and CEO in 2008. Under Léo’s leadership, the company experienced unprecedented organic growth from 2002 until 2008, mainly because of his visionary globalization strategy. In order to create the next wave of growth in 2007/8, Léo was the thought leader, architect and lead executive behind in the very successful BusinessObjects acquisition and integration.
In September 2010 Léo was elected by the Board of HP as president & CEO, with the mission to reposition HP for profitable growth. After a thorough analysis of the company, Léo formulated a technological and strategic framework in March 2011 followed by a detailed strategic plan in August 2011. The plan called for a potential spin off of the PC business and a sharper focus on commercial and enterprise customers build on solutions, and a higher component of software and added value services including the acquisition of Autonomy Plc.
Léo serves as the Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Schneider Electric S.A. and he is also a member of the Board of Steria S.A.. In addition, he serves on the board of PlanetFinance, a non for profit global micro finance organization.
Léo is fully fluent in 5 languages and is a frequently solicited public speaker on global economic and business affairs, as well as on technology and their impacts. He was awarded the French Légion d’Honneur for his contribution in leveraging the usage of IT technologies in France.
Léo graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Economics and International Relations. He is married and has two grown up children.