HP hires Dell's CIO, shuffles departments

HP has hired a new CIO from archrival Dell and made additional changes to its organizational structure under new CEO Mark Hurd.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has hired rival Dell's chief information officer (CIO) to run its internal IT department and made additional changes to its organisational chart as further evidence of new Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd's philosophy, the company said Monday.

Randy Mott comes to HP after five years at Dell and 22 years at Wal-Mart Stores, two companies known for their aggressive cost-management philosophies. He takes over responsibility for HP's IT department from Gilles Bouchard, who will remain with the company as executive vice president of global operations, said Ryan Donovan, an HP spokesman.

After HP acquired Compaq in 2002, former chief executive officer Carly Fiorina combined internal IT and global operations -- essentially HP's supply chain -- into a single group as a cost-saving exercise, Donovan said. The company was able to improve the efficiency of both groups, but Hurd is splitting the groups in order to allow Mott and Bouchard to concentrate on specific areas, he said.

"Mark is giving people very focused roles," Donovan said, citing recent decisions to split the Palo Alto, California, company's PC and printer groups and divide its marketing organisation since Hurd joined HP in March.

Hurd is also reversing many decisions made by Fiorina, who was fired in February by HP's board of directors. In January, Fiorina combined the PC and printer groups under the leadership of printer head Vyomesh Joshi in hopes of producing cost savings, but Hurd wasted little time in undoing that move, hiring former PalmOne executive Todd Bradley to lead a newly separated PC division in June.

The financial analyst community believes Hurd is preparing to make further moves in the coming weeks, following his statement in HP's second-quarter earnings press release that the company had "room for improvement" and that changes would be forthcoming. Analysts from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co and Merrill Lynch & Co have predicted that HP will soon announce layoffs ranging of 7,500 to 15,000 employees, or about five percent to 10 percent of the company's workforce.

Mott's experience at Dell will certainly be helpful for HP, which counts Dell as a major competitor in most of its businesses. He will join Bouchard, Bradley, and Joshi on HP's 11-member executive council and will report directly to Hurd.

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