By Poornima Gupta
June 18 Hewlett-Packard Co on Tuesday
named Todd Bradley, the head of its largest unit, printing and
personal computers, to take on the new job of improving the
company's China business and extending distribution partner
relationships around the world.
Bradley, who was among the people considered for the chief
executive post after the ouster of Mark Hurd in 2010, will also
work with CEO Meg Whitman to identify startups that will help in
the company's long-term growth.
HP, which has been struggling to stabilize its declining PC
sales, billed its distribution partners and China business as
keys to its future. Whitman is in the midst of leading a
multi-year turnaround of the Silicon Valley icon, which has seen
turbulent times with the ouster of two CEOs in the last four
The new move represents "a lateral move" for Bradley, said
HP spokesman Michael Thacker, who called China a crucial market
But not everyone was convinced that it represented a
positive step for Bradley.
"Essentially Todd went from running half of HP to looking at
little companies - seems like a demotion to me," said Brian
Marshall, analyst with ISI Group.
It was unclear which executives will now be reporting to
Bradley, who has been responsible for nearly half the company in
his role overseeing the PC and printer businesses.
Dion Weisler, currently senior vice president for the
printer and personal systems business in Asia Pacific and Japan,
who joined the company from rival Lenovo Group last
year, will take Bradley's job as executive vice president for
While revenue fell across HP in its latest fiscal second
quarter, the steepest decline was in the personal systems group
run by Bradley. The PC-focused unit's revenue dived 20 percent
to $7.58 billion.
Bradley, an eight-year HP veteran whose star had risen under
Whitman, took over running the massive printer division along
with PCs in March 2012, after Whitman decided in 2011 to not
sell the PC unit.
IN STEEP DECLINE
Bradley joined HP following the acquisition of Palm, where
he had been chief executive. He was passed over for the CEO's
job after Hurd left and the company hired Leo Apotheker.
While Apotheker was CEO, Bradley oversaw HP's ill-fated and
high-profile launch of the TouchPad tablet in 2011. The TouchPad
was killed within a few months of launch.
In the PC arena, HP has seen Lenovo and other Asian
manufacturers rapidly grab share. Lenovo now trails HP by a slim
margin in PC shipments, according to technology research group
Adding to HP's trouble is a decline in the overall market
for computers, with global PC shipments facing a
deeper-than-expected 7.8 percent slump this year as tablets
overtake laptops for the first time, according to a report from
market research company IDC.