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HP Ships Personal Systems Chief Todd Bradley to China

Todd Bradley, the longtime HP executive vice president who was in charge of the personal systems group (which includes the world's largest PC business along with tablets and printers), has a one-way ticket to China. HP today said Bradley is stepping down to help develop business operations over there. Bradley's official new title is executive vice president, Strategic Growth Initiatives.

Could this be a graceful exit for the exec who once was CEO of Palm and was twice passed over for the top job at HP? Or is Bradley truly looking to help the company enter into new markets? HP CEO Meg Whitman in a statement described Bradley's new role as critical -- and he will work directly with her to expand its business in China. One of his key priorities will be to develop a channel business in China, according to Whitman.

"There's nothing more important to HP than our channel partners and the future of our business in China," said Whitman. "I've asked Todd to use his expertise to focus on these areas. I've also asked him to study the landscape of small companies and startups that could partner with HP to spur growth."

Bradley's replacement is Dion Weisler, currently senior vice president for the group in Asia Pacific and Japan. Interestingly Weisler joined HP in January 2012 from Lenovo, the company that's gaining the most ground on HP. Weisler served as COO of Lenovo's product and mobile Internet and also ran the company's businesses in Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Weisler also spent 11 years at Acer as managing director for its U.K. business.

Clearly building a presence in emerging markets is an important assignment for any executive and Bradley certainly is a good choice. But Bradley has also made no secret he wants to be a CEO again someday and stepping aside from running a $42 billion business to creating new operations could be an interesting assignment. But I'd still expect to see Bradley on the list for CEO assignments as the openings arise in the coming years.

If Carl Icahn has his way and his team with Southeastern Asset Management are able to pull off an upset and trump the offer by Michael Dell to take over Dell, Bradley would be on the shortlist of candidates offered the CEO job there, Reuters reported earlier this month.

While HP has the leading PC market share, it's the number two choice of Redmond magazine readers, according to our 2013 Readership Survey. According to 1,157 respondents, 29 percent identified HP as their preferred PC vendors, while 45 percent chose Dell. Lenovo came in third with 10 percent, while other players were in the low single digits. Thirteen percent had no preference.

Clearly the stakes are high in this move as HP looks to win over more IT decision makers and consumers alike in a market that is going through its largest transformation ever.

Bradley was well regarded and many credit him with growing HP's personal systems business. Do you think Bradley was pushed or did he jump to this new opportunity?


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 06/18/2013 at 1:15 PM


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