Where’s Leo? At HQ, want a picture?
After weeks of sometimes comical coverage on the whereabouts of new HP CEO Leo Apotheker — a farce that had come to be know as “Where’s Leo?” — the company was likely happy that the subject was almost ignored in the aftermath of its earnings report on Monday. Almost.
Apotheker’s precise location became an issue when Oracle made it known that it was trying to subpoena HP’s head man as part of its high-profile lawsuit against SAP, where Apotheker was previously CEO. Oracle, waging a skillful PR war against its newest foe, claimed Apotheker was ducking the subpoena, which would have put him on the stand in federal court in Oakland, California. Oracle even hired private investigators to track him down.
HP, for its part, refused to divulge his location, and accused Oracle of harassing Apotheker. SAP called the hunt for him a “sideshow.”
Given all that, Apotheker could not have been all that surprised when he was asked point blank on a media conference call on Monday where he was at that precise moment.
“You mean physically right now?” Apotheker responded slyly. “That’s a bit of an odd question… in Palo Alto, at HP’s headquarters together with a bunch of people.” Before adding: “Would you like a picture?”
Apotheker has been globe-trotting over the past few weeks as he meets HP’s far flung employees and customers. He said his travels had taken him to Massachusetts, Germany, and Singapore, to name a few stops. For the record, he also surfaced in Japan and Texas.