HP Software Chief Denzel Resigns

Hewlett-Packard is searching for a new general manager for its Software Global Business unit.

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Wednesday announced that the head of its software business unit will resign.

Nora Denzel, senior vice president and general manager of HPs Software Global Business, will resign as of Dec. 9 for "personal reasons," a company spokesperson said.

HP named OpenView General Manager Todd DeLaughter as interim GM for the Software Global Business until HP can find a replacement for Denzel.

"HP remains committed to driving the companys management software strategy and will continue to work with the entire HP team and key partners to capitalize on growth opportunities," according to an official company statement.

Denzels departure is the latest change in the executive suite since CEO Mark Hurd took the helm at HP last March after Carly Fiorinas departure.

Former Dell Computer Corp. CIO Randy Mott was named HP CIO last summer, and former PalmOne (now Palm Inc.) CEO Todd Bradley was named chief of the PC unit, which was separated from the printer business this summer.

A five-year veteran at HP, Denzel led the software group beginning with April of 2002. Only in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 did HP report profitability in the software group, after HP began breaking out software revenues in late 2003. HP reported an operating profit in the software business of $27 million on $311 million in revenue. That compared to a $7 million lost in the same quarter in 2004.

/zimages/5/28571.gifHewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd promises to improve customer service and discusses the companys restructuring. Click here to read more.

Denzel presided over a string of software acquisitions during her tenure as software GM. Those included Talking Blocks, Novadigm, Consera and TruLogica, as well as HPs planned acquisitions of Peregrine Systems Inc. and Trustgenix Inc.

HP has no time to waste in finding a new software GM, said Jasmine Noel, principal analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates in New York.

"I think they need to get a replacement as soon as possible. Just because they finally announced a profit doesnt mean they can go slow and fall off on that," she said.

HPs software business has been increasing revenue fairly consistently in the double digits, but its unclear whether that has resulted in appreciable market share gains against its main competitors, Noel said.

"CA, IBM and BMC are getting their act together. Its going to be harder and harder to execute without all cylinders firing at the same time," Noel said, adding that HPs software unit has been slow to execute on a good strategy.

/zimages/5/28571.gifRead details here about HPs "consistent" strategy for its Technology Solutions Group.

Although HP would not comment on its search efforts, at least one source close to the company said HP has already been searching for a Denzel replacement for about a month and has employed two search firms in the effort.

"HP admires Nora for her many contributions to HP, and for bringing the business to profitability in the fourth quarter. We wish her the best of luck in her next endeavors," the company statement said.

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