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HP names new IT, operations chief

Hewlett-Packard promotes a printing unit executive and HP veteran to head both the company's operations and its internal computer infrastructure.

Hewlett-Packard on Friday promoted a printing unit executive and HP veteran to head both the company's operations and its internal computer infrastructure.

Gilles Bouchard, who had been senior vice president of operations for HP's imaging and printing unit, was named executive vice president and chief information officer. In the new role, Bouchard assumes the supply chain and operations responsibilities previously handled by Jeff Clarke, who resigned last week, and the information-technology management duties handled by Chief Information Officer Bob Napier, who died in October following a battle with cancer.

In an e-mail to employees on Friday, CEO Carly Fiorina reiterated that information technology is increasingly tied to overall business processes, saying it made sense to have one executive supervising both areas.

"Effective immediately, we are integrating these two organizations, a bold move towards the future and a logical next step in HP's journey to becoming a fully Adaptive Enterprise," Fiorina said. "We will deliver IT faster and at a lower cost, while simplifying our organization and our business processes."

In the e-mail, Fiorina drew on a popular saying of Napier's that noted that every time a business decision is made, it forces a change in the technology.

"If every business decision drives an IT event, it follows that the closer IT is integrated with the business the more effectively business decisions will be executed," Fiorina said.

Bouchard's appointment comes amid several departures at HP. In addition to Clarke, other recent exits include former server executive Mary McDowell, who joined Nokia, and merger integration co-chief Webb McKinney, who retired.

Bouchard, a French native, is a 14-year HP executive, having most recently headed up both IT and supply chain operations for HP's imaging and printing unit.

Separately, HP on Friday also named a replacement for McDowell. Marius Haas, who had headed up the company's worldwide e-business strategy, was appointed to head up strategy and corporate development within Chief Technology Officer Shane Robison's office of strategy and technology. Haas' new role is similar to one he held at premerger Compaq, where he was responsible for identifying new business development opportunities, assessing merger and acquisition candidates and running the corporate strategic planning process.