Hewlett-Packard partners Tuesday said they see the unexpected move of Printing and Personal Systems Executive Vice President Todd Bradley to a new post as a blow to HP's channel.
Bradley, a tireless channel advocate who headed up the company's SMB partner council, is leaving his role as the top PPS executive after eight years to take a role as executive vice president of strategic growth initiatives.
HP said Bradley will work with CEO Meg Whitman on enhancing HP's business in China and "extending the company's critical channel partner relationships around the world."
Bradley also will work with Whitman on identifying potential partnership opportunities with early stage companies that can contribute to HP's long-term growth, according to HP.
"It's a big loss for the channel," said Sam Haffar, president of HP enterprise partner Computex, a Stratos company. "For me it is plain and simple: He was a great advocate for the channel."
Haffar said Bradley was always available to take a call from channel partners working deals or trying to get help in the sales trenches.
"As a channel partner, it was great to have access to someone at the top of HP," he said. "When you needed help he was there. He was very accessible."
HP said Dion Weisler, who joined HP 17 months ago and is currently senior vice president of HP PPS in Asia-Pacific and Japan, will replace Bradley. Weisler will report to Whitman and join HP's executive council.
Before joining HP, Weisler was vice president and COO of Lenovo's product and mobile Internet digital home groups. Prior to that, Weisler spent 11 years at Acer, including a stint as managing director of Acer U.K.
"Todd Bradley is my business partner, my mentor and my close friend," said Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, Green Bay, Wis., a longtime member of HP's SMB partner council. "I am saddened by his departure as the head of PPS. He is very approachable, a gentle giant who understands the importance of partners and the difficulty of maintaining strong customer relationships. He is identifiable in the business community worldwide, a great leader and I am sure in whatever capacity he is put into he will do an extraordinary job. I am hoping they are grooming him for CEO."
Chernick said he is looking forward to meeting Weisler. "He has big shoes to fill," said Chernick. "People buy from people they like, and I loved Bradley."
Whitman, for her part, said in a prepared statement that there is nothing "more important to HP than our channel partners and the future of our business in China. I've asked Todd to use his expertise to focus on these areas. I've also asked him to study the landscape of small companies and startups that could partner with HP to spur growth."
In an internal memo announcing the move, Whitman said the leadership changes are "designed to prepare HP for its return to growth in 2014."
Whitman also said Bradley will continue to "drive focus and attention on our worldwide channel initiatives. As you've heard me say many times, we cannot be successful without our channel partners and we need them firing on all cylinders."
Nick Lazaridis, currently COO of PPS, will take on the role as acting head of HP PPS Asia-Pacific and Japan until a permanent replacement is named, according to HP.
PUBLISHED JUNE 18, 2013