Silicon Valley is a small world. And for one executive in its inside circle, the Palm deal is a vindication of sorts.
Todd Bradley, the executive vice president for Hewlett-Packard’s Personal Systems Group—which includes everything from PCs to mobile devices, workstations, personal storage solutions and Internet services—came to HP in the summer of 2005 a few months after he left a CEO position at a company then called PalmOne. Bradley was recruited by HP chief executive officer Mark Hurd, who had just taken over the company after the widely-publicized resignation of Carly Fiorina, and his hire was one of the first major changes Hurd put into effect at HP.
Bradley had a four-year stint at Palm, where he was seen as resolving the supply-chain issues that beleaguered the handheld-computer manufacturer in the early 2000s. Palm, then best known as a maker of handheld personal digital assistants — a category that barely exists anymore — had had a string of struggles such as building up an inventory that exceeded customer demand, which lead to price cuts and cash issues for the company. In 2005, Bradley stepped down as the chief executive officer as the company was looking for a new direction in the wireless market, focusing on its line of Treo phones.
51 years old this year, Bradley is a veteran in the PC world, with a 28-year career in management. He joined Palm after working as the executive vice president of global operations for Gateway, a U.S. PC maker. HP claims that during Bradley’s era, his group’s revenue has increased by $15 billion and profitability increased by 300 per cent. Bradley’s organization is also responsible for HP’s “The Computer Is Personal Again” campaign, introduced in 2006, which featured a lieu of celebrities such as Jay-Z and Gwen Stefani endorsing the company’s PCs and other products.
In his current position at HP, Bradley heads the largest global supply chain in the IT industry. He is also a member of HP’s executive council.