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ProCurve Top Executive Leaves Company

John McHugh, HP ProCurve's top executive credited with building the networking vendor from the ground up, has left the company.

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McHugh was responsible for ProCurve's global operations, strategic and tactical planning, business development and the creation and introduction of many networking solutions and services.

ProCurve remained tight-lipped on the top executive's departure, issuing just a brief statement announcing that McHugh has left and announcing his interim replacement. A ProCurve spokesperson would not comment on why McHugh left, when his last day was and what his next step will be.

"John McHugh, HP ProCurve vice president and general manager, has left the company. In the interim, HP ProCurve has named Bret Cromwell as acting general manager. Cromwell was previously worldwide controller for HP ProCurve, and for the past six years has been a key member of HP ProCurve's executive staff, responsible for all aspects of HP ProCurve's finance, accounting and IT activities," the full statement read.

McHugh is credited with leading ProCurve's rise from a virtual start-up to a $1 billion plus contender in the networking marketplace, competing in the crowded field to be a strong second to market leader Cisco Systems Inc. McHugh also built ProCurve's channel organization from the ground up as a separate independent unit within a dedicated specialized network infrastructure force of 4,500 registered reseller partners.

And, according to market research firm Dell'Oro Group, ProCurve's growth is continuing. ProCurve's year-over-year port growth for the first quarter of calendar year 2008 nearly quadrupled the growth rate of the networking industry, mainly due to McHugh's leadership, the Dell'Oro Group said.

The Dell'Oro Group called ProCurve "the world's second largest enterprise LAN networking vendor" and said it grew in worldwide port shipments by 28.4 percent in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the same quarter in 2007. The growth rate of the industry for the same time period was 7.82 percent.

McHugh oversaw several key advancements in ProCurve's portfolio, including the introduction of the ProActive Defense security initiative, the 5400 Switch Series, mobility products to unify wired and wireless networks and ProCurve's Switch 8100fl family, a first generation InterConnect Fabric solution.

In 2003, McHugh launched the ProCurve Adaptive EDGE Architecture (AEA), a framework that moves intelligence and functionality to the network edge for a secure mobile, converged infrastructure. He has long been recognized as a networking industry leader, frequently discussing networking trends and being named one of networking's most influential people in many industry publications.

McHugh had been a part of the HP team since 1982, starting in a manufacturing support role for data communication products and has spent the last 20 years focused on the networking business. He graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, in Terre Haute, Ind., with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science.

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