HP considers management overhaul

25 January 2004 Pressure is mounting on Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina to make good on the programme to reinvigorate the technology giant that she started five years ago.

HP’s management board are pressing Fiorina to relinquish more of her operational duties to other executives, reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, Business Week says that Fiorina is under pressure from nervous investors to appoint a COO.

Any such reshuffle would be the second major change for HP’s management team in recent weeks. Earlier in January it announced that it was merging its printer and PC divisions.

Fiorina’s tenure at the helm of HP has seen the IT giant undertake a series of bold moves. A failed bid to buy the consulting division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 2000 was quickly overshadowed by a successful $19 billion bid for rival computer maker Compaq.

But the mammoth task of integrating Compaq has tested HP’s management team, especially as competition remains fierce in some of its key markets. While HP generates huge profits from its printer division, margins remain wafer thin in its PC and server businesses.

Now according to the reports HP’s management board want more power to be given to executive vice president Ann Livermore and chief technology office Shane Robinson, as well as recalling a former board director Thomas Perkins.

So far HP has refused to be drawn on any restructuring. A spokesperson said: “Boards discuss a wide range of topics consistent with their fiduciary responsibilities, and any speculation about these discussions is just that – pure speculation.”

In other news, while Fiorina sees her control over HP ebbing away, two CEOs at technology vendors have been entirely shorn of theirs.

Storage switch maker Brocade has revealed that it is to replace CEO Greg Reyes with VP of worldwide sales Michael Klayko. Brocade has yet to provide an explanation for the change, but it recently suffered the embarrassment of having to restate its 2004 financial results. The revised figures showed a $32 million loss.

And at handheld manufacturer PalmOne, CEO Todd Bradley is to step down. PalmOne rose to prominence with its Palm Pilot organizer, but has struggled to sell its products in a diminishing market – even after buying rival Handspring and its popular line of Treo devices. A replacement is yet to be revealed.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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