RealTime IT News

HP Loses Software Chief

HP's software head became the latest executive to defect from the systems giant, as Nora Denzel left for what the company claims are "personal reasons."

Denzel, senior vice president and general manager of HP's global software business unit, will be replaced in the interim by Todd DeLaughter, general manager of HP's OpenView system management software business, until HP finds a replacement.

An HP spokesperson said Denzel, with the company for five years, submitted her resignation late Monday and will remain in her position until Dec. 9.

"HP admires Nora for her many contributions to HP and for bringing the business to profitability in the fourth quarter," the spokesperson said. "We wish her the best of luck in her next endeavors."

While the company achieved profitability in the recent quarter, it has been an uphill battle for HP, which is still adjusting to life after former CEO Carly Fiorina.

New CEO Mark Hurd came from NCR determined to staunch the operating losses in the company's hardware and software lines. At the same time, Hurd and his team have been trying to generate greater profitability in the face of competition, such as IBM, Dell, Computer Associates, Sun Microsystems and others.

Results have improved under Denzel, though Hurd has repeatedly said on earnings calls the company has greater room for improvement.

In the recent quarter, HP's software division reported quarterly revenue of $311 million, an increase of 11 percent year-over-year, and an operating profit of $27 million, or 8.7 percent of revenue, compared with a loss of $7 million in the same quarter a year ago.

In addition to improving the bottom line, Denzel had a lot on her plate integrating HP's multiple software acquisitions in the last couple of years.

The M&A rate has ramped up under Hurd, who has stressed a desire to beef up the software portfolio to promote computing that is flexible and adapts to business changes on the fly.

Just yesterday, the Palo Alto company acquired ID management software maker Trustgenix. The company earlier purchased storage management specialist AppIQ and asset management provider Peregrine Systems.

Hurd has instrumented key changes since coming aboard last March.

He split the personal systems group and printer businesses Fiorina merged in January and hired former palmOne skipper R. Todd Bradley to lead PSG.

He also lured Randy Mott from Dell to take the CIO slot.