Today, we were greeted with news of the latest in a series of executive hires moving from SAP to HP (see last year’s post on Leo’s appointment), with the announcement that Marty Homlish has joined as Chief Marketing Officer – and yes, his previous employer was… you got it… SAP! This follows several other high-profile executive appointments from… you got it… SAP, such as Marge Breya, Bill Wohl and others.
No disrespect to Marty, who has a stellar reputation from his recent decade-long marketing tenure at SAP, but what is HP doing? Once a thriving hardware and services business locking heads with IBM, its services business has been slipping since even before its EDS acquisition, its BPO business seems to be dropping off a cliff, and now it’s filling its management ranks with ERP veterans. Unless something is brewing that we don’t know about, HP isn’t an ERP vendor.
If HP isn’t plotting a radical move to buy SAP, or some other ERP business, it seems to be letting itself down badly – the firm needs new thinkers who can drive innovation and a new direction into the business, because right now, most industry observers are left scratching their heads trying to figure out what the game-plan is. If HP is looking to acquire SAP, and is readying itself with an already-in-place management team of old-school SAPers, then Leo may be pulling off a masterstroke in forward-thinking leadership that will go down in technology history.
Whatever the case, HP needs to put a stake in the ground – and soon – to let the world know its true strategy, as I, like many of my industry colleagues, am baffled.