Apotheker's pay package shows HP confidence

SEC documents show HP's new CEO, Leo Apotheker, will be paid similarly to his predecessor

Leo Apotheker may yet have to prove that he can run a company the size of Hewlett-Packard, but his compensation package is on par with his predecessor.

According to an HP document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apotheker will earn an annual salary of US$1.2 million, the same earned by Mark Hurd, who recently resigned from HP after allegations of sexual harassment.

Apotheker, whose tenure as SAP CEO ended in February and lasted under a year, will earn an annual incentive of between 200 percent and 500 percent of his annual salary. Stock awards and options, some of which vest over the coming years, amount to $71.8 million at Friday’s stock value.

He’ll also get a $4 million signing bonus and $4.6 million in moving expenses. Apotheker resides in France and will move closer to HP’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

Hurd’s total compensation in 2009 was over $30 million.

When HP announced on Thursday that it had chosen Apotheker for CEO, many industry observers were surprised.

“I think there’s a sense of Leo has it all to prove as to helming a much larger company than SAP with a very wide product portfolio,” said China Martens, an analyst with The 451 Group. In that sense, his compensation package seems large. “Leo’s a bit of yesterday’s man,” she said.

The compensation package, however, shows that HP thinks Apotheker is a valuable choice, she said. The company may hope that he can bring a more international focus and a more software-centric vision to the business, she said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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