HPs IPSG Leader Key to Hurds Success

If Mark Hurd is to succeed at the helm of Hewlett-Packard, he'll need Vyomesh Joshi's help to get a handle on the thorny issues still surrounding the company's recently combined printing and PC groups, observers say.

If Mark Hurd is to succeed at the helm of Hewlett-Packard Co., hell need to get a handle on the thorny issues still surrounding the companys recently combined printing and PC groups, and for that, observers say, hell need the help of the insider who knows them best.

Vyomesh Joshi, the rising HP star many saw as a strong internal candidate for the CEO post, will play a vital role in helping Hurd execute on a plan while building on his own successes as head of the Imaging and Personal Systems Group at HP.

The HP boards selection of an outsider was seen by many as a slight to Joshi, but it was critical for the companys success to keep Joshi at the helm of the key group, say sources. Joshi said last week that he has no plans to leave the company in the wake of Hurds appointment, according to HP officials in Palo Alto, Calif.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read a Q&A with HPs Joshi.

"Its a little bit of a slap in the face for someone who was in control of the majority of HPs business and did that so successfully," said Chris Barnes, an analyst with Gap Intelligence Inc., in San Diego. "But Joshi is clearly having success and funding growth in other areas. Why kill off that goose?"

Joshi took over IPSG earlier this year, with responsibility for printers, supplies, projectors, digital cameras, desktop and notebook PCs, handhelds, personal storage appliances, and workstations. He won respect internally and in the industry for his success running the former Imaging and Printing Group, which generated $24 billion in revenue last year and accounted for nearly 75 percent of HPs profit.

While Hurd brings a successful track record leading NCR Corp.—a global company with diverse business lines—some insiders question whether it will be a matter of what Hurd can do for Joshi or what Joshi can do for Hurd. With HPs printing business facing more competition than ever, Joshi will be a critical force for HP—and for Hurd—say analysts.

"Maybe Hurd can bring more out-of-the-box thinking around solutions and how to bridge IPSG with other parts of HP," said Angele Boyd, an analyst with IDC, in Framingham, Mass.

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