The senior marketing and management merry-go-round at Hewlett-Packard has continued into 2011, with the surprise departure earlier this week of CMO Michael Mendenhall, exclusively revealed by PRWeek.
This follows the high-profile shenanigans that surrounded the resignation of former CEO Mark Hurd last year, which was shrouded in controversy and allegations of sexual harassment and falsified expenses. And in August, VP of global corporate comms at HP David Shane also exited the beleaguered tech firm.
New CEO Leo Apotheker has brought in a former colleague at software firm SAP, VP of PR Bill Wohl, to be HP's CCO – reporting directly to him.
It all smacks of Apotheker wanting to draw a line under 2010's unsavory headlines and start the New Year with a clean slate. There were things that went on last year in terms of the way the Hurd story was handled with the media that did no-one involved any credit, and it seems Mendenhall has paid the price for being allied to - or identified with - the old regime.
Apotheker no doubt hopes the former Remington Arms executive Wohl will be a safe pair of hands and that the rest of 2011 is less tempestuous on the news headline front than the last 12 months.
HP will want the business media community to focus instead on its new product announcements at CES this week and a forthcoming separate press launch in February, when the tech manufacturer is expected to unveil its latest tablet offerings.