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HP puts PR head on 'special assignment' after webOS fiasco

updated 06:15 pm EDT, Fri August 26, 2011

Corp Comm group reporting also reassigned

HP has apparently shaken up its corporate communications organization. The company has reportedly placed Bill Wohl, its chief communications officer, on "special assignment" and put the corporate communications department under the control of Marty Homlish, HP's executive VP and CMO. The moves come after a tumultuous few weeks for HP, during which the company announced it was acquiring Autonomy for $10 billion, divesting itself of its PC business, and killing its tablet and cell phone products, even as it was launching its new TouchPad with WebOS.

Wohl had joined HP only eight months ago, He was brought in as "chief communications officer", a new position created by HP's CEO Léo Apotheker. The two had worked together at SAP, where Apotheker had served as co-CEO before joining HP.

An internal memo, obtained by PRWeek (subscription required), described Wohl's reassignment as an effort to tie the company's software more effectively with "broad company positioning." The timing of the action, the brevity of Wohl's tenure in his position, as well as HP's apparently defensive rather than proactive handling with the media of its recent strategic moves, has led to speculation that Wohl has fallen from grace with HP's chief executive. [via All Things D]




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