November 23, 2010

HP CEO Vows Increased Focus On Software Development

Hewlett-Packard (HP) reported a five percent increase in profits for the fourth quarter on Monday, while their new chief executive told reporters that the company planned to start focusing more on software development moving forward.

Profits for the Palo Alto, California-based computer manufacturer rose to $2.5 billion, while revenue exceeded Wall Street projections by jumping eight percent over last year, to $33.3 billion. Furthermore, according to AFP reports, the company reported a 10 percent revenue increase to $15.1 billion in the Americas and an eight percent increase to $5.8 billion in the Asia-Pacific region.

"HP proved once again that it is able to execute given its market strengths and technology leadership," CEO Leo Apotheker, a former chief executive with German software developer SAP who assumed the leadership role at HP earlier this month, told reporters in a conference call Monday.

According to the AFP, Apotheker also noted that the company would began emphasizing the software side of its business, which saw a one-percent increase in revenue to $974 million in the quarter.

"We all feel we need to have a strong and viable software business. It is true that today software represents roughly three percent of our revenue but I think we can do a lot better," he said.

"Doubling it wouldn't be too bad, tripling it would be even better but that would be a very, very, very longterm projection," Apotheker added. "With software we can add a lot of value in our strengths to whatever we do for our customers. That doesn't mean we would be in any type of software business"¦ We have focus in our software strategy."

In light of the company's fiscal reports, shares of HP increased 3 percent to $44.55 per share in afterhours trading on Monday.

Apotheker, who left SAP in February, was elected President and CEO by the HP Board of Directors on September 30. He replaced interim CEO Cathie Lesjak, who herself had taken over for former CEO Mark Hurd in August after a sexual harassment investigation discovered irregularities in Hurd's expense account.

Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Bros, told AP Technology Writer Jordan Robertson that Apotheker had done "pretty well" answering questions during the conference call "considering he's only been CEO for a short period of time"¦ The best thing he can do, which he is already doing, is to visit the company's customers and its employees to get a feel of what they want and the main issues."


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