Wickham departs HP for top comms post at Raytheon

PALO ALTO, CA: Hewlett-Packard's high-level departures continued last week as Pam Wick- ham, VP, corporate communications, left the company just three months after taking the job.

PALO ALTO, CA: Hewlett-Packard's high-level departures continued last week as Pam Wick- ham, VP, corporate communications, left the company just three months after taking the job.

She left to join Raytheon as VP of communications and corporate affairs, replacing Phyllis Piano. Wickham could not be reached for comment. Raytheon, a major defense contractor, did not return calls seeking comment on Piano's departure.

Bob Sherbin, HP's VP of corporate media relations, said he was now the acting head of corporate communications. But the company is unlikely to determine how to permanently fill Wickham's role until it finds a new CEO, said Sherbin.

"That's our priority," he said.

Wickham joined in December, filling a post that had been vacant for a year. Her predecessor, Suzette Stephens, left in December 2003 after four months.

Wickham exits about a month after her boss, Allison Johnson, left HP to join Apple Computer as VP of worldwide marketing communications. At HP, Johnson was SVP of marketing.

Johnson's departure comes one month after the ouster of CEO Carly Fiorina, which created a media frenzy managed largely by Wickham.

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