HP's latest moves also shine a spotlight on how the company views China, emerging markets, its consumer business and the increasingly-important marketing function. Let's review the moves:
- A Cloud Battle: HP nabbed two senior executives from Microsoft and VMware. The motive was two-fold: to strengthen its software business and to beef up its executive ranks for the battle in the cloud. HP will go head to head with the triple threat that is the VMware-Cisco-EMC alliance.
- Promoting from Within: HP promoted key software talent from within. Tom Hogan, 49, is now running sales, marketing and strategy for HP's $54 billion Enterprise business. His keen ability to turn around HP's $3 billion software business seemingly got the attention of the C-suite.
- New Leadership in Asia: HP was busy in China this Spring. In the Asia Pacific, Piau Phang Foo, the former head of China, saw his responsibilities increase to head all of Asia. He replaces Doraisamy Balu, senior vice president and managing director, HP Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), who is retiring from the company effective June 30, 2010.
- EMEA Moves: HP also made some moves in the EMEA, promoting Francesco Serafini from Senior Vice President for EMEA to Executive Vice President running the Emerging Markets business. Jan Zadak from the Czek Republic replaces Serafini. Zadak has his roots at Compaq/Olivetti.
- Marketing Motives: HP recruited David Shirk as the head of marketing for its Enterprise division. Shirk comes to HP from Siemens, with roots at Vignette, Novell and Oracle. HP also recruited Richard Gerstein, a classically trained marketing executive, to oversee its Consumer business. Gerstein is well-known for his service to Sears, but also held key leadership positions at Alberto-Culver Co. and Reflect.com, as well as a 13-year stint in various marketing roles at Proctor & Gamble.
HP's shake up is more than interesting. It demonstrates how the recruiting battle in the software industry is heating up. Poaching superstars from industry leaders and shuffling executives across wide geographic regions like the EMEA and Asia signals how HP is preparing for the next wave of growth-and the competition that comes along with it-as new technologies emerge. We'll keep our eye on what appears to be an emerging trend as it unfolds.