HP Repurposes PC, Printer Division Head Todd Bradley
Hewlett-Packard made yet another high-level administration change June 18 when it repurposed the head of its struggling personal computing and printing divisions, Todd Bradley, and assigned him to handle sales strategies in China.
In his place, HP named a former key executive of Lenovo and Acer, Dion Weisler, currently senior vice president for HP in the Asia-Pacific and Japan. Lenovo (No. 1) and Acer (No. 4) are currently among the world's leaders in laptop market share.
Weisler, who has many years more experience in the laptop business than Bradley, will become executive vice president of Personal and Printing Systems at HP. He will report to Whitman and join the company's executive council.
Weisler joined HP in January 2012 and has 23 years of experience in the IT industry, mostly in mobile PCs. Prior to joining HP, Weisler was vice president and chief operating officer of Lenovo's Product and Mobile Internet Digital Home Groups. Before that, he ran Lenovo's businesses in Korea, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and Australia and New Zealand.
Weisler also worked 11 years at Acer, where he served as managing director of Acer U.K. and also helped build Acer's business in Central and Eastern Europe.
Officially, Bradley—who was CEO of Palm Computing in 2005 before HP acquired the mobile device company in 2010 for $1.2 billion—will have the title of executive vice president of strategic growth initiatives.
Bradley twice was on the short list of candidates to become HP's CEO in the last three years, but instead the board of directors in 2010 selected Leo Apotheker (previously with SAP) to replace Mark Hurd and in 2011 Meg Whitman (formerly of eBay) to replace Apotheker.
Bradley will work directly with CEO and President Meg Whitman to improve HP's business in China and extend the company's channel partner relationships around the world.
"There's nothing more important to HP than our channel partners and the future of our business in China," Whitman said in a press statement. "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."
Analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research was candid about the move by HP.
"Removal of Todd Bradley from PSG is very welcome news for investors. Todd Bradley had made a series of strategic mistakes; his departure should have happened long before," Chowdhry told eWEEK via email.
"Bradley killed Palm WebOS, one of the best mobile OSes, which had a very good chance of being the second player in mobile space. (Apple) iOS7 copies some of the critical features that Palm WebOS had 3 years back," he wrote.
Bradley made a "wrong decision to go with Windows 8 Mobile for Tablets, which was dead-on-departure," Chowdhry wrote. "Today, HP does not have a mobile strategy; being a reseller of Windows Phone 8 or Android is not a winning strategy.
"Then Todd Bradley decided to go with Android tablets, which will also likely be dead-on-departure. There is no way HP can win against other Android tablets from Acer, Asus, Samsung and Lenovo."
Chowdhry contended that on Todd Bradley's watch, HP "missed completely on the shifts within the industry. He continued to run HP PSG [Personal Systems Group] as if it was [the] 1990s, focusing wrongly on supply chain, while the industry was going toward asymmetric pricing models and innovation."