Arik Hesseldahl

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HP’s Whitman Shakes Up Executive Ranks Ahead of Q3 Earnings

shakeitupThe executive shake-up coming to Hewlett-Packard later today just got more clear.

Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and head of HP’s $30 billion Enterprise Group, will be replaced by chief operating officer Bill Veghte, according to a report from Bloomberg News. AllThingsD first reported on Donatelli’s reassignment earlier today.

Sources familiar with the matter said Veghte will not retain the COO title, and a replacement for that title will not be named. Veghte had been tapped as COO on May 30. He had previously been HP’s chief strategy officer, replacing Shane Robison, who is now CEO of Fusion-io.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Veghte has been seen outside of HP as a logical No. 2 under Whitman, and this had rankled both Donatelli and Todd Bradley, an executive vice president and former head of the Printing and Personal Systems Group. Both Donatelli and Bradley have been seen at various times as contenders for the CEO position at HP. Bradley was reassigned earlier this year.

Sources said that Donatelli and Bradley have had a difficult relationship with Whitman in recent months, made worse by the fact that HP has been losing market share in servers to Dell, and lost its No. 1 spot in personal computers to Lenovo. Veghte’s elevation only soured the working relationship further.

The other move that will be announced today is the position of chief marketing officer. In that role, Marty Homlish will be reassigned, and will be replaced by chief communications officer Henry Gomez. Sources said the two positions will be combined under Gomez. Long a key aide to Whitman, Gomez served as vice president for corporate communications at eBay, and headed up communications during Whitman’s run for governor of California. Before eBay, he was vice president of corporate affairs at HBO.

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