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Sidelined HP Senior Execs Inch Toward the Exits

Following a pair of shake-ups, at least one of the two is contemplating options outside the company.

Todd Bradley and Dave Donatelli, two executive VPs at computing giant Hewlett-Packard who were sidelined in a regime change, may be leaving the company soon. But there are no firm timetables despite a report to the contrary.

Bradley, who ran HP’s printing and personal computing unit until June 18, and Donatelli, who ran its enterprise operations until Aug. 21, were reassigned from those duties in a pair of high-profile management shake-ups.

While both executives are still employed at HP, an arrangement made at the time allowed them to freely explore opportunities elsewhere.

“They are both still employed at HP, and we have no changes to announce at this time,” HP spokesman Michael Thacker said.

Of the two, sources familiar with his situation said Bradley has been approached by other companies about senior management jobs. These sources stress that these conversations are in early stages.

Donatelli’s plans are far less clear. Once a division president at EMC, he was recruited to HP in 2009 and initially reported to Ann Livermore, a former HP executive VP who ran its enterprise business for seven years. Donatelli was promoted in 2011 by then CEO Léo Apotheker to replace Livermore, who stepped down in 2011 and took a seat on the board of directors.

Last year, Bradley was asked to rebuild relationships with HP’s many channel partners, a sprawling set of third-party resellers who sell HP products to businesses around the world. Collectively these resellers account for about 70 percent of HP’s overall revenue.

Donatelli has been spending time at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, evaluating early-stage companies for possible investment or acquisition by HP. The VC firm’s co-founder Marc Andreessen sits on HP’s board of directors.

At the time they were reassigned, CEO Meg Whitman made it clear that she was unhappy with the results in both businesses. Sales of both PCs and enterprise hardware such as servers declined. In 2013, Lenovo supplanted HP as the world’s leading vendors of PCs.

“The reason Todd and Dave were removed from their positions is because they were not making progress fast enough on the turnaround, and Meg wanted new leadership in those roles,” HP’s Thacker said about the moves.

And while HP remains the top vendor of servers, the company had struggled with some market share losses to other companies like Dell. Both times, Whitman said she wanted “fresh eyes” on the business. Dion Weisler, who had run HP’s PC operations in Asia, was tapped to run the PC and printing unit. Bill Veghte, a former Microsoft executive who was briefly HP’s COO, took over the enterprise unit.

Reuters reported in a story earlier today that Bradley is set to leave this month and Donatelli would leave in March.

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