HP hints at quick decision on PSG, names new U.S. channel chief


HP Americas PSG chief Stephen DiFranco expects a quick decision on the group's fate.

HP late last week introduced a new U.S. channel chief for its Personal Systems Group and also provided a significant hint that a decision regarding its personal computing business is coming sooner than later, according to a report from CRN.

When CEO Léo Apotheker announced plans next month to potentially sell off or spin off its Personal Systems Group, he was decidedly vague about the timing of such a move – just saying that the board had authorized the company to investigate any and all options for PSG. But that announcement was closely followed by PSG chief Todd Bradley saying the company should spin off the business – and it should do so soon.

The CRN report says that new Americas PSG chief Stephen DiFranco is holding off on naming his successor as Americas channel chief until HP’s board decides on the fate of the division – and he expects a decision before we ring in 2012.

One thing HP isn’t doing is naming its new Americas channel chief. HP’s board expects to deliver a decision on PSG by year’s end, and DiFranco said that’s also the timeframe for announcing the new Americas channel chief. He wouldn’t comment on whether HP is leaning toward inside or outside candidates.

Meanwhile, the company has introduced 24-year HP veteran Mike Parrottino as the new head of the Solution Parnter Organization within PSG, essentially giving him the same role in the U.S. that John Cammalleri occupies in Canada.  The CRN report shows HP putting together a U.S. channel executive team with executives representing a variety of the company’s businesses.

The move is part of HP’s effort to give its U.S. executive leadership closer oversight of channel engagement and management. Parrottino will work with other HP executives, including: Frank Rauch, ESSN; Scott Dunsire (IPG); Steve Erdman (Americas Software); Tracy Galloway (Attach and Services); and Matt Smith (Americas Channel Marketing).

“This group will serve as a channel governance leadership team to drive sales, marketing programs, communications and policies for our U.S. channel,” an HP spokesperson said in an e-mail.

According to CRN, HP is also converting a New Mexico-based call centre previously focused on direct sales into a demand-generation operation for channel partners that will use both inside sales reps and field reps to deliver new SMB leads for its channel.