After the mess of Mark Hurd’s departure, it’s good to see that Hewlett-Packard’s board has learnt a few lessons.

Leo Apotheker’s employment contract, on file today with the SEC, reveals that the new CEO has no guaranteed contract term. Instead, he is employed “at will”, which effectively makes it easier for the company to dispense with his services any time it likes.

Perhaps even more important is HP’s stipulation of the circumstances in which it can sack Mr Apotheker “for cause” – another glaring omission from the Hurd contract, and an issue over which HP has been heavily criticisedRead more

Mark Hurd is finally starting to look on the bright side. The boss of HP has been one of the most cautious tech CEOs in recent weeks, but when I caught up with him moments after the company put out its latest quarterly earnings today (the headline numbers were pre-announced earlier this month) he was sounding uncharacteristically relaxed.

You have to be a student of Mr Hurd’s normally dour style to understand just how optimistic he can make it sound when he says he’s feeling “a little more positive”. He said there had been a continuing rebound in the US in the latest quarter and “good sequential improvement in Asia in most markets”.

The one thing preventing Mr Hurd from feeling downright happy, in fact, is Europe. Read more