Page 2 of 4
All three executives are friends of the channel, Convery said. "And HP would not skip a beat on their leadership in the industry [with any of them]," he said.
Another HP solution provider, who requested anonymity, said his bet is on Bradley as the front-runner, with Donatelli close behind mainly because he has not been at HP long enough to to prove himself to the board of directors.
But Donatelli is in the running because HP's board has backed his hand twice -- in acquiring 3Com and 3Par, the solution provider said. "The 3Com acquisition is viewed as having been a very shrewd one," the solution provider added. "Again, the fact that the board backed his hand as the bidding went up on 3Par shows they have confidence in him."
HP acquired enterprise storage partner 3Par after a short but intense bidding war with Dell, which eventually drove the price to $2.35 billion, or nearly four times its original market capitalization.
Bradley, for his part, was backed by the board in acquiring Palm, and mobility will be increasingly important in the future, the solution provider said. "He’s also done a great job taking the No. 1 position in PCs and improving margins," he said.
The solution provider does not expect either Livermore or Vyomesh Joshi (Vijay), executive vice president of HP's Imaging and Printing Group, to get the top post. "Those two have been passed over twice by the board in favor of Carly [Fiorina] and Mark [Hurd]," he said.
NEXT: An Important Decision To Make