HP 'close' to naming Philippine head

IT giant says search for a new executive to head its operations in the Philippines is nearing fruition. Announcement follows abrupt resignation of former managing director in February.

PHILIPPINES--After months of frantic searching, Hewlett-Packard said it is nearing the end of its hunt for a new executive to lead its Philippine operations.

In a statement released last week, HP Asia-Pacific said the company is "close to announcing" a new managing director of HP Philippines, following the abrupt and surprise resignation of former head, Nilo Cruz, in early-February.

The IT giant, however, did not disclose any other details, saying only that "in due course, we would arrange for an interview with the new managing director". HP Philippines employees also remain mum on the latest development.

The company's press relations representative said everyone at HP Philippines has been barred from discussing the company's pending appointment of the new head honcho.

Cruz had served as general manager and managing director of HP Philippines for seven years before stepping down from his post. Aside from serving as chief of the local office, Cruz also headed the technology solutions group at HP Philippines, one of the two business units the company operates in the country.

Although HP's regional office had issued an official statement immediately after Cruz's resignation, the vendor did not reveal the reasons behind his departure. Narinder Kapoor, director and general manager of the enterprise storage and servers at HP Southeast Asia, was appointed to take over as the interim replacement.

Aside from Cruz, the corporate marketing manager of HP Philippines, Nikka Singson-Abbes, had also resigned and joined mobile phone maker Nokia. The resignations sparked rumors and speculations from the local IT industry, although HP said there will be no reorganization or reshuffling within the local office.

In an earlier interview, Bernadette Nacario, HP Philippines personal systems group general manager, said the resignation will not affect the company's strategy and business direction in the local market.

HP had conducted a frantic search for Cruz's replacement, and reportedly "courted" several senior executives from top Philippine companies, including Helen Marquez, the chief operating officer of ePLDT, the IT services arm of top telecommunications company PLDT.

Marquez confirmed she was offered the position after a brief negotiation with HP in Singapore, but said she chose to stay with ePLDT. She declined to give other details.

Joel D. Pinaroc is a freelance IT writer based in the Philippines.