HP reshuffle – will Apotheker re-energise this IT giant?

14 Jun 2011

HP CEO Léo Apotheker’s organisational changes appear aimed at getting the world’s biggest technology player into the right mindset for the road ahead. The biggest change has been the shifting of Ann Livermore, Pete Bocian and Randy Mott out of day-to-day management roles.

Livermore, who was twice tipped to be CEO and who has guided key divisions of the company for almost 30 years, is to be moved to the board of HP but will continue to be interim chief of HP’s Enterprise Services division until a replacement is found.

“Ann’s distinguished role as a leader of our largest business, deep relationships with our most important customers, institutional knowledge of the company and its employees, and insights on the technology industry will be tremendous assets to our board of directors,” said Ray Lane, non-executive chairman, HP board of directors.

“On behalf of HP’s 320,000-plus employees, I would like to congratulate Ann on her election and offer our heart-felt gratitude for her long service and dedication to this company.”

The positions of Bocian (who was VP and chief administration officer) and Mott (who was CIO) are to be eliminated.

Leading executives David Donatelli (enterprise servers) and Bill Veghte (software) will report directly to Apotheker while Todd Bradley (personal systems) will focus on growth in China and Vyomesh Joshi (imaging and printing) will focus on growth in India.

Realignment for a device and cloud-driven world

Apotheker, former head of German software giant SAP, took over the role of CEO of HP after former CEO Mark Hurd was dismissed following a sexual harassment scandal.

Apotheker will need to mend the psychology within HP, particularly after an era of drastic cost-cutting drives by the Hurd administration, and reduce the administrative layers that surround him.

This will be key for HP at a time when tablet sales are eating into PC sales. HP is about to fight back with a new TouchPad tablet based on the Palm webOS operating system.

The industry landscape has shifted and an HP that is versatile and on the edge with the latest access devices and innovative cloud computing solutions will be key, alongside its traditional strengths in print and server technology.

Photo: HP CEO Léo Apotheker

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years