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Exec shuffle continues at HP as Elias departs

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The executive churn in HP's hardware ranks continues with former storage top dog Howard Elias confirming his departure from the company.

Elias was serving as senior vice president of business operations and management in HP's Enterprise Systems Group but has left in search of a new employer.

"I wanted to go off and do some different things in my career," he told, The Wall Street Journal.

Elias led part of Compaq's high end server business before becoming general manager of HP's storage group, following the acquisition. In that role, HP paraded Elias about as part of an aggressive storage push at the company. Elias had an unrivaled "have trade-show will travel" attitude.

His public appearances, however, diminished after taking on the role as SVP of enterprise hardware at HP. Rumors have circulated that he was unhappy in this position, and his exit would seem to back this up.

HP's VP of NAS systems Roger Archibald took off in August. Storage execs Mark Sorenson and Mark Lewis have joined EMC. And now HP is saying that Hugh Jenkins, VP of marketing for Intel systems, is also resigning - perhaps as part of an unnatural sacrifice to Itanium.

All told, HP's hardware team is in major reshaping mode. The company has been laying off the overlap between HP and Compaq for some time now, and the hardware side of the house is struggling to reach profitability. Add all of the departures into the mix, and it's not a pretty picture.

It will be interesting to see where the excised part of the HP brain trust ends up. ®

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