Week in review: HP CEO merry-go-round, NHS wastes billions, Oracle vs Google

Week in Review

When we were children, we slept soundly in the certainty that the world was run fairly the virtuous always triumphed over the wicked, incompetent and greedy. Then we grew up and found out that it was the other way around. It would be funny if it wasn't all so tragic.

Wave hello, say goodbye

Another year, another HP CEO. Less than a year since he replaced Mark Hurd as CEO of HP, Leo Apotheker has been ousted from his position by the company's board. Apotheker's moves to drop webOS and potentially withdraw HP from the PC market were controversial, but even we were surprised by the board's lack of confidence in them as evidenced by Apotheker's dismissal. Whether new CEO Meg Whitman will back-peddle on Apotheker's strategy remains to be seen.

Don't feel too sorry for Apotheker though. With his golden handshake and golden parachute combined, he'll be doused in a golden deluge of $35 million in cash and stock options for 11 months work.

According to CNN's calculations, the departure of HP's past three CEOs has cost the company $83.3 million. That trifling sum of money must have been burning a hole in the board's collective pockets.

Playing doctor

Given Whitehall's reputation for wasting vast sums of money on state IT projects that go over budget, are delivered late and don't work properly, none of us should be surprised by the news that the 11 billion NHS IT records project will be abandoned. Fire department and police IT systems are in a similar sorry state of affairs.

IT Pro's insightful Tom Brewster has written his own prescription for what needs to be done for the NHS and IT. Although maybe it needs to be simpler than that sit an overpaid consultant down in front of someone afflicted with a debilitating lethal illness and get them to explain why he's contributing to their suffering.

It's only money

Google and Oracle have been arguing in court again. This time it's been over how much financial damage Oracle allegedly suffered when the search engine giant allegedly violated Oracle's Java patents when creating Android. Huge numbers like $6.1 billion or 1.16 billion are tossed around like car keys in a salad bowl.

Don't feel too sorry for Google though. According to the 'smoking gun email' unearthed during the trial, Google knew it ran the risk of being sued when it intentionally copied the work in the Java patent in question. Perhaps they need to search for the meaning of 'don't be evil'. They could try Bing if they're coming up empty handed.