HP notebook executive leaving for Dell

The departure comes as the two computer giants battle for market share.

Alex Gruzen, the head of Hewlett-Packard's notebook computing effort, has left the company to join rival Dell.

At Dell, Gruzen will be a senior vice president in the company's product group, jointly leading its desktop and notebook efforts along with John Medica, according to a Dell representative. He will start work later this month.

An HP representative said that the company was informed Monday that Gruzen was leaving for Dell and said he is no longer working at the company. The representative added that HP has taken steps to protect its confidential information, but the representative would not be more specific.

Gruzen will be replaced, for now, by Ted Clark, who was named interim general manager of HP's mobile unit. Clark had been heading up the company's Tablet PC and handheld units.

The departure comes as HP and Dell continue to battle as the two largest sellers of PCs worldwide. Dell saw its unit shipments grow 28 percent worldwide to almost 7.7 million units in the second quarter. The jump gave it 18.6 percent of the market, according to research firm IDC, and allowed it to retake the lead in total global shipments. HP grew shipments by about 16 percent, according to IDC. Nevertheless, the company's share of the market declined to 15.5 percent, down from 15.7 percent a year ago.

Gruzen is a Compaq Computer veteran who joined HP after the company's blockbuster merger closed in May 2002. His departure was reported earlier Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.