Does HP stand for "How Perplexing"?

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) finally settled on Mark Hurd's CEO replacement, and it's not a very inspiring hire.

Shares of HP opened lower on Friday after it tapped Leo Apotheker as its new helmsman.

Never heard of him? Well, maybe that's because his previous gig was running Germany's SAP, and he was there for less than two years before being let go. His pedigree is a far cry from Hurd's when the latter began his run at HP.

These were going to be challenging times at HP, regardless of whom it named as CEO. However, naming an iffy outsider is potentially worse than hiring from within. HP has to realize that the market expected more than this.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN) got a boost when AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) announced that a potential rival to Dendreon's prostate-cancer treatment failed one of its clinical trials.
  • Alternative energy is still alive and well, as Amyris (Nasdaq: AMRS) went public at $16 a share.
  • Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) finally unveiled its PlayBook tablet. I'm just happy that it didn't stick with the name that was originally floating around this summer: BlackPad.
  • Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is buying AirTran (NYSE: AAI) in a $1.4 billion transaction. Will bags still be flying free after Southwest forks over that kind of money? More importantly, during the buyout pitch, did Southwest ask AirTran, "Wanna get away?"

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.