Lew Platt, the former CEO of HP
who worked his way to the
top spot during a 33-year career at the computer maker, died Thursday of a
brain aneurysm. He was 64.
Platt was HP’s CEO for seven years until his retirement in 1999. More
recently he was lead director and former chairman of the board of aerospace
Rising from an entry-level engineer in the company’s medical products
group, Platt succeeded HP co-founder David Packard in 1993 as chairman of
the venerable Silicon Valley company.
In 1995 Platt served on President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Trade
Policy and Negotiations and served as chairman of the World Trade
Organization Task Force. He was also a member of The Business Council.
“Lew cared deeply for HP and its people, and his loss is being felt
widely across our company,” said Mark Hurd, HP’s president and CEO, in a statement. Hurd joined HP in March from NCR.
“He was a natural leader who was enormously well liked and made an enduring
impression on those he encountered. The way he treated people and how he ran
the company set an exceptionally high standard of personal decency.”
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney issued a statement following the news of
“On Thursday night, we lost one of our best friends and one
of Boeing’s most important leaders.
“Lew shepherded Boeing with strength, grace, dignity and integrity
through a period when the company most needed his steady hand,” McNerney continued. “He was a compassionate man who put his own retirement and personal plans on the back burner to ensure that Boeing never missed a beat through its recent recovery.”