Arik Hesseldahl

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Executive Moves Continue at HP as Investor Relations VP Leaves

There’s news of yet another executive shift at Hewlett-Packard. The company just confirmed that Steve Fieler, vice president of investor relations, will be leaving after the company reports fourth-quarter earnings, which will be on Nov. 21.

We heard the tip from a source familiar with the situation, and an HP spokeswoman just confirmed it: “HP’s current vice president of investor relations, Steve Fieler, has decided to leave HP to pursue other opportunities. Steve will stay on with HP through the Q4 earnings cycle to facilitate an orderly transition.”

We haven’t yet heard where he’s going, nor anything about a replacement being named.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Fieler was named VP for investor relations by CFO Cathie Lesjak in July of 2010. He first joined HP in 2004 as senior director for strategy & corporate development after stints at AirPrism and General Electric, among others.

The move is the latest in a string of executive shifts at HP during the last several months. In June, chief administrative officer Peter Bocian left for a job with J.P. Morgan.

Then in July, Stephen DiFranco was named senior vice president and general manager for the Americas region in the Personal Systems Group (the unit now expected to be spun off in the coming months), reporting to Todd Bradley.

On Aug. 18, HP announced a torrent of news, including plans to spin off its personal computer unit, shut down the webOS hardware business and spend $10 billion to acquire the British software firm Autonomy in a move to shift its emphasis away from consumer-oriented businesses in favor of more enterprise-centric businesses. HP shares still haven’t recovered from that combination and have fallen about 24 percent since that day.

As HP announced the news on a conference call with analysts that day, it fell to Fieler to begin the proceedings with the opening statement confirming all that had been reported earlier in the day.

Soon after that, Bill Wohl, chief communications officer, was put on what’s been described as a “special assignment,” and HP’s corporate communications department was placed under the authority of chief marketing officer Marty Homlish.

HP shares fell along with the rest of the market today, down $1.21, or more than 5 percent, to $22.66.


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