Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

HP Hires Nokia’s Former MeeGo Head Torres, but Not for Gram

Don’t look now, but Hewlett-Packard’s mobile strategy is starting to look increasingly confused. Earlier this week we learned about Gram, a stealthy, wholly owned subsidiary that is being fashioned out of the webOS remnants of the company formerly known as Palm. It has even taken to buying up cool domain names.

Anyway, today we were reminded, again via a memo leaked to The Verge, that there’s still another mobile group within HP, and this one, unlike Gram, will be building hardware.

In the memo, Todd Bradley, head of the Printing and Personal Systems Group (PPSG), which encompasses the world’s biggest manufacturer of both PCs and printers, announced the creation of a new Mobility Global Business Unit that will operate within PPSG, and named Alberto Torres, the former head of Nokia’s abandoned MeeGo smartphone operating system efforts, to run it.

I’ve confirmed from sources that the memo is authentic, and I’ve also gotten one bit of clarification for anyone who may still be confused. Torres (pictured from a video interview conducted last year), whose title will be senior vice president of Mobility, will report to Bradley and will not be working for Gram. Also, the Mobility GBU has nothing to do with Gram. Got it?

So now HP has one mobile group working on an open source operating system with an uncertain mission, and a hardware group that will be building tablets primarily running Windows.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Bradley’s memo announcing everything.

As the world’s largest PC and printing business, we make it matter for hundreds of millions of people each and every day. Today we are taking an important step to serve even more customers in new and exciting ways.

I am pleased to announce that we are creating a team dedicated to delivering the best mobility solutions in the industry. With this move, we are building on our commitment to re-invest in mobility via dedicated leadership, focused research and development, amazing new products and a growing suite of applications and services.

Our new Mobility Global Business Unit initially will focus on consumer tablets and will expand to additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers. Our existing notebook teams, including our soon-to-be launched commercial tablet, will remain within the PC GBU under James Mouton at this time.

To lead the Mobility GBU, I am thrilled to announce that we have recruited a proven executive from the mobile-device industry. Alberto Torres, who most recently oversaw the MeeGo products and platform at Nokia as Executive Vice President, will join HP as Senior Vice President of Mobility, reporting to me.

I am excited to have Alberto join us. During his seven years at Nokia, he held a variety of critical leadership positions, including two years on the company’s Executive Board. In earlier roles at Nokia, Alberto ran the company’s premium brand, its accessory and CDMA businesses and corporate strategy. Prior to Nokia, he was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he worked with industry leaders in mobile devices, consumer technologies, software and Internet services. A Ph.D in computer science from Stanford University, Alberto currently holds vice chairman roles with the firms Bang & Olufsen and Opera Software.
Alberto’s first order of business will be to accelerate our tablet strategy and begin to execute products against our consumer/SMB target. The exact structure of his team will follow that strategy.

Alberto’s start date will be September 3. Please join me in welcoming Alberto to HP and in supporting him and his team in their important work.



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