Todd Bradley, the head of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s printing and personal computer business, has been appointed to a new position in charge of the company's strategy with a focus on China, the company said Tuesday.
HP said Bradley, 54, will be in charge of strategic growth initiatives and will work with CEO Meg Whitman to improve the company's business in China and extend relationships with important partners worldwide. His tasks will include identifying small companies and startups that "could partner with HP to spur growth," Whitman said in a statement.
Bradley was in charge of HP's PC business from 2005 to 2012, when it combined the printing and personal systems business into one unit under his leadership.
HP became the world's leading PC maker during Bradley's tenure, but the distinction is less relevant amid a drastic shift in the computing landscape. PC sales have been declining as consumers delay replacing machines and spend their money instead on smartphones and tablet computers. Like many other PC manufacturers, HP was slow to respond to the shift and then stumbled trying to catch up with Apple and other manufacturers, such as Samsung Electronics Co., that make devices running Google Inc.'s Android operating system.
Whitman has portrayed HP's turnaround as a multi-year effort. She has been overhauling the company's product line and pushing into more profitable niches in business software, data analysis and storage and technology consulting. HP also is in the process of eliminating nearly 30,000 jobs and shedding other expenses to help offset declines in revenue.
Emerging markets represent a potential area of growth. But HP has faced competition from a Chinese company, Lenovo Group Ltd., which bought IBM's PC business years ago. In the first three months of the year, Lenovo was the only top 5 manufacturer that saw PC shipments unchanged from the previous year, according to research firm IDC. All others saw a decline.
Dion Weisler, who is in charge of printing and personal systems for Asia-Pacific and Japan, will take Bradley's former role. The company said Weisler has been with HP since January 2012.
Nick Lazaridis, the chief operating officer of the Asia-Pacific and Japan printing and PC business, will become interim head of the division while the company looks for a permanent replacement.
HP's stock rose 29 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $25.45 in midday trading Tuesday. The stock is near the upper end of its 52-week range of $11.35 to $25.52.
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