Catherine A. Lesjak

Apotheker sets HP's course: Heading for the cloud

March 15, 2011: 11:36 AM ET

Hewlett Packard's CEO plans to kick the company and its flagging stock back into gear in part by selling apps and services via a new public cloud.

HP CEO Leo Apotheker

HP CEO Leo Apotheker

It's been just over eight months since Mark Hurd left HP (HPQ) beneath an avalanche of tabloid covers. In that time, HP's stock has slid just over 10%, leaving investors wondering when and how the world's largest tech company can get back on course.

Hurd's replacement, Leo Apotheker, in his first major public speech since being named to the top HP spot in September, gave his answer to a gathering of press and analysts in San Francisco Monday afternoon. During a presentation that lasted a bit over 30 minutes, Apotheker outlined three major areas of focus for HP in the coming months and years:  Cloud computing, a wide variety of Internet-connected hardware for consumers and businesses alike, and software, including pushing HP's (formerly Palm) webOS to hundreds of millions of PCs, tablets, printers and smartphones. The financial upside of this three-pronged strategy, according to HP CFO Cathie Lesjak, will be $7 per share in earnings (non-GAAP) by 2014.

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