Shane Robison, the man charged with giving advice on HP's future strategy and technology development to top executives, is stepping down and will not be replaced.
The move, announced on Thursday, means Robison will leave the company on 1 November. It comes at a time of great disturbance for the company as it adjusts around its new chief executive, Meg Whitman. The company is preparing to go in a new direction with its acquisition of enterprise management software specialist Autonomy and is considering the future of its cash-cow PC business.
"Robison, an 11-year HP veteran, also served as a member of the company’s Executive Council," HP said in a statement. "He was instrumental in steering the company's multibillion-dollar research and development investment and has led many of the company’s largest merger and acquisition activities."
"In an effort to drive strategy, research and development closer to the company's businesses, [HP] will not be replacing the role of chief strategy and technology officer," it said.
Previously Robison worked at Compaq and AT&T Labs.
The uncertainty around HP may be affecting its enterprise business. In talking to UK companies ZDNet UK has recently detected some skittishness over investing in enterprise gear from the company, for example on Thursday the head of a regional UK ISP said the thought of buying HP kit no longer crossed their mind.