HP hires former SAP branding exec Marty Homlish

NEW YORK, April 19 Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:02pm EDT

NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) hired former SAP AG (SAP.N) marketing executive Marty Homlish to lead HP's global marketing efforts, as Chief Executive Leo Apotheker continues to put his management team in place to drive growth.

Apotheker, who formerly helmed SAP, is trying to galvanize HP's sprawling divisions and expand its software business to boost margins. The addition of former SAP marketing executive Homlish should bolster its software effort.

As executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Homlish will oversee and lead marketing across HP, reporting directly to Apotheker, the company said.

Homlish, who helped double SAP's brand value, will help HP unify its marketing approach to "present 'one HP' to the market," Apotheker said in a statement.

HP's newly minted CEO has focused on the software business, calling it the "glue" of the sprawling computing giant's operations and has said he wants to restore HP's reputation for innovation -- a reputation stemming from its early days as a founding father of Silicon Valley - and invest in research.

The software division now accounts for less than 3 percent of revenue.

Apotheker is also under pressure to appease investors and fend off a clutch of rivals ranging from Oracle Corp ORCL.O to IBM (IBM.N). HP's share price has dwindled since former CEO Mark Hurd -- a cost-cutter popular with shareholders -- left the company. (Reporting by Alina Selyukh and Edwin Chan in Los Angeles, editing by Bernard Orr)

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