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Note To Hewlett Packard: Hire Todd Bradley As CEO Before You Lose Him Too

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One thing Hewlett Packard has done well over the last five years since CEO Carly Fiorina stepped down: make money. A lot of that is thanks to Todd Bradley, EVP Personal Systems Group. If you think you’ve seen him before, you probably have. Bradley often speaks at tech events, and he’s the only HP exec I’ve ever seen out in the tech community. At a recent Fortune Brainstorm event in Colorado he was handing out Palm Pre’s to attendees, and was the most popular guy in the room.

He was former CEO Mark Hurd’s first high level hire in 2005. Bradley runs the computer group – personal computers, mobile devices, technical workstations, personal storage solutions and Internet services. He grew revenue in his group to $42 billion and took the no. 1 computer manufacturer spot from Dell. Profitability in his group has grown 300% on his watch.

He’s also not shy about taking risks. His acquisition of Palm earlier this year put HP in the game at least with a mobile/tablet operating system that developers like. That puts them light years ahead of Dell.

The HP board doesn’t have many missteps left before it loses all credibility. Bungling the termination of Hurd, and then watching helplessly as Hurd joined competitor Oracle, was just the beginning. The icing on the cake was this absurd and unwinable lawsuit. And HP is facing a lawsuit of its own over the incident.

Consumers need to trust the brands they buy. They haven’t forgotten about the wiretapping scandal of 2005, and all they see is a mess right now at HP.

The New York Times ripped apart the HP board a few days ago, calling it “blundering” and that it’s “back to doing what it does best: shooting itself in the foot.”

Fortune named him one of the smartest people in tech earlier this year. If I was on the HP board, I’d promote Bradley fast. Before someone else grabs him.

See this interview with Bradley at the Fortune Brainstorm conference.

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