In the wake of Hewlett-Packard Co’s shortfall in earnings last week, Carly Fiorina, the company’s chairman and CEO, said that there would be some heads rolling, and indeed there were. As expected, Peter Blackmore, the most senior-level executive from the former Compaq since Michael Capellas left to run telecom company MCI, got the boot.
Blackmore was in charge of Compaq’s well-respected services business (which it got by virtue of buying Digital Equipment in 1998) when HP acquired Compaq in early 2002. Blackmore was soon put in charge of HP’s Enterporise Systems unit, with HP’s own Ann Livermore getting the top services job. This pretty much sealed Blackmore’s fate. A year ago, when the server and storage unit also missed its numbers, Blackmore was in the hot seat. At the turn of the year, HP began merging its services and server units, and put them under control of Livermore, giving Blackmore the top sales job within its Customer Solutions Group. Rather than making his job easier, being responsible for sales on all HP fronts only made Blackmore’s life harder. Mike Winkler, who has been HP’s chief marketing officer, was tapped to replace Blackmore as executive vice president in charge of CSG.
In addition to Blackmore’s ouster, two lieutenants in the Americas and EMEA regions were also replaced. Jim Milton has replaced Jack Novia as senior vice president of CSG’s Americas region, and Bernard Meric will take over from Kasper Rorsted as the top executive in CSG’s EMEA operations. With these moves, three more Compaq execs have been replaced by HP execs. Winkler is also from Compaq, and he ran Compaq’s PC, servers, and storage units. While he was probably better suited to running the Enterprise Systems unit at HP than was Blackmore, it is safe to say that he is probably a little jumpy given the task at hand and Blackmore’s tenure at HP.