HP Adds Software Visionary Ray Ozzie, Former Liberty Media CEO Robert Bennett, And Walgreens Chairman To Board

Comment

After losing several board members in April, HP announced today that it is adding three new members to its board: Robert R. “Dob” Bennett, former president and chief executive officer of Liberty Media Corporation; Raymond E. Ozzie, former chief software architect of Microsoft and founder of new startup Talko; and James A. Skinner, former vice chairman and CEO of McDonald’s Corp. and current chairman of Walgreen Co.

HP says these additions will increase the number of HP directors from nine to 12. And HP is continuing the search for a permanent non-executive chairman. Ralph V. Whitworth will continue to serve as chairman of the board on an interim basis, following Ray Lane’s departure in April.

“In April, we made a pledge to recruit the very best, most talented leaders to HP’s already outstanding board,” said Whitworth in a release. “Dob, Ray and Jim bring tremendous capital allocation, technological, operational and leadership expertise and experience to the table. I’m confident they will make enormous contributions as we support Meg and her team in rebuilding HP by better serving our customers, strengthening our partnerships and building value for our shareholders. It’s an enormously satisfying time to be part of HP, and today’s announcement adds to our ability to deliver on our promises.”

Ozzie was chief software architect at Microsoft in June 2006 and was Microsoft’s chief technical officer from April 2005 to June 2006. He took up that role when Microsoft acquired Groove Networks, a collaboration software firm Ozzie formed in 1997. Ozzie originally gained fame for Lotus Notes, the company he sold to IBM. Ozzie left Microsoft in 2010 in part due to a conflict with Steve Sinofsky, the Microsoft executive who was recently let go as the president of the Windows division.

In addition to serving as the CEO of Liberty Media, Bennett also served as president of Discovery Holding Company from March 2005 until September 2008, when it was merged with Discovery Communications, creating a new public company. Skinner has served as a member of the Walgreen Co. board of directors since 2005, and previously was the CEO of McDonald’s, as mentioned above.

“As we move forward with our turnaround, it’s a huge benefit to be able to get advice from a board made up of such experienced business and technology leaders,” said HP CEO Meg Whitman in a release. “For their part, Dob, Ray and Jim have just about seen it all during their careers. I’m very grateful for their support, as well as the ongoing support from all of the directors.”

With their addition to the board, Bennett will become a member of the Finance and Investment Committee and the Audit Committees, Ozzie will join the Technology Committee and the Finance and Investment Committee, and Skinner will join the Audit, HR and Compensation, and Nominating and Governance Committees.

These additions come at a time when Whitman is hoping to be able to reinvigorate and turn around the company. Ozzie certainly brings some of the technology chops and expertise to the board, and Bennett and Skinner both have experience in how to operate and advise public companies and add their own networks to the company.

Ozzie in particular will be key to Whitman’s five-year plan to go after services and be mindful of the consumer when it comes to software and hardware developments.

More TechCrunch

Tags

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €284M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

2 days ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’