HP Executives Herded Up And Headed Out

Hewlett-Packard CEO Léo Apotheker and a reconfigured board of directors have made some key changes in the company’s leadership, relieving three long-time executives of their positions.

On the way out of HP’s day-to-day operations management after 29 years is Ann Livermore, whose current position is head of HP Enterprise Services. Livermore, however, has been offered a spot on the HP board and will remain as the interim chief of Enterprise Services until a permanent replacement can be found.

Livermore had been considered a candidate for the CEO position several times during her tenure at HP. She joins an HP board that swapped out several members last January as Apotheker (pictured) took over as CEO.

Mott And Bocian Ejected

Two exiting HP execs who were hired by former CEO Mark Hurd were not as fortunate to be asked to join the board. Pete Bocian, hired as executive vice president and chief administrative officer in 2008 – whose position is being eliminated – and Randy Mott, executive vice president and chief information officer since 2005, are out effective immediately, HP said. The company is starting a search for Mott’s replacement.

It is probably not a coincidence that changes such as these are being made now, only weeks after a modestly profitable quarterly earnings report showed a sharp drop-off in the year-to-year sales of HP consumer PCs – a sector upon which the company relies heavily. A corresponding upsurge in the sales in the last year of tablet PCs, mostly from Apple, is considered a major reason for a 23 percent drop in consumer PC sales from 2010 to 2011.

With Apple owning a yearlong head start and about 90 percent of the tablet market – not to mention a flood of Android-based tablets moving swiftly into the market – HP is running late with its TouchPad tablet, which has received good early reviews but isn’t due out until next month.

HP said the moves are “organisational changes that will more closely align its corporate structure with the strategy” that new president and CEO Apotheker revealed back on March 14.

Apotheker, who was with German enterprise software maker SAP for two decades and was hired for the HP CEO job in September 2010, is centralising the operational corporate leadership around his office by removing some layers of administration – in this case, Livermore, Mott and Bocian.

For example, HP said that David Donatelli – who runs a large part of the company as executive vice president of enterprise servers, storage, networking and technology services – and Bill Veghte, executive vice president of the software division, now will report directly to Apotheker.

Jan Zadak, executive vice president of global sales, also will report to Apotheker. HP said that these executives reporting to Apotheker give “their respective units greater visibility and support throughout the entire HP organisation”.

Lastly, two other HP executives have been given additional duties. Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems group, who was considered a short-list candidate for CEO before Apotheker was hired, will now head up cross-business initiatives focused on expanding HP’s market share in China.

Vyomesh Joshi, current executive vice president of the imaging and printing group, will lead a similar initiative in India.

Chris Preimesberger

Editor of eWEEK and repository of knowledge on storage, amongst other things

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