Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

“Menry” Is Back at HP: CEO Meg Whitman Hires Longtime PR Guru Henry Gomez as Top Flack

Through many years of working together, first at eBay and then during the failed California governor’s race, Meg Whitman has relied heavily on Henry Gomez for communications advice.

Their close working relationship even earned them the mash-up nickname among those at eBay and elsewhere: Menry.

So when she got the CEO job at Hewlett-Packard, it was a bit of a surprise that Gomez — who has recently been living on the East Coast (see baseball cap above) — helped out a lot, but was not named to the top PR slot at the tech giant.

No longer, it seems, with Gomez being named EVP and Chief Communications Officer at HP today.

It’s a big job, given the hard work that Whitman faces reviving the iconic tech company, which has been beset by strategic and business challenges of all kinds, shapes and sizes in recent years.

While it might be seen as an adjunct to the business, the forward-facing parts of HP are in need of a powerful public relations initiative, which is presumably why Whitman wanted one of her most trusted and longtime staffers in the post.

According to HP, Gomez will become a member of the company’s executive council and report directly to Whitman.

Said HP in its press release, which you can also read below: “Gomez will be responsible for HP’s media and industry analyst relations, executive communications, employee communications, government affairs and global social innovation.”

As in, the voice of Menry is back!

Here’s the release:

HP Names Henry Gomez Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer

PALO ALTO, CA, Jan 10, 2012 — HP today announced that Henry Gomez will join the company as executive vice president and chief communications officer.

Gomez also will become a member of HP’s executive council, reporting to Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer.

In this newly expanded role, Gomez will be responsible for HP’s media and industry analyst relations, executive communications, employee communications, government affairs and global social innovation.

Gomez, 48, comes to HP with 26 years of communications experience. He spent most of the last decade working at eBay, where he served in a variety of roles including senior vice president for Corporate Communications and president of Skype. Gomez played a crucial role in building eBay’s brand during the critical years following the company’s initial public offering.

Prior to joining eBay, Gomez was vice president of Corporate Affairs at HBO in New York. He started his communications career at Hill and Knowlton and has worked on a wide array of public relations and marketing communications challenges in numerous industries.

Most recently, Gomez ran his own consulting business, providing communications counsel to clients such as H&R Block. He was on the leadership team of Whitman’s 2010 campaign for governor of California and has been involved in government and political affairs throughout his career. In 2011, Gomez was appointed to the board of BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. He is a graduate of Boston College.

“Henry is an excellent manager and communications executive,” said Whitman. “People around the world care deeply about HP, and I believe we have an important obligation to clearly explain where we’re headed and why. Henry will work closely with the entire leadership team to make certain customers, partners, employees, and shareholders fully understand our vision and strategy.”

About HP HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com .

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik