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HP Turns To Ex-eBay Exec For Help

Henry Gomez, a 48-year-old former eBay Inc. executive, will become HP's chief communications officer.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — CEO Meg Whitman is bringing a longtime partner in dealing with the media to join her at Hewlett-Packard Co.

HP said Monday that Henry Gomez, a 48-year-old former eBay Inc. executive who was on the leadership team of Whitman's failed 2010 California gubernatorial bid, will become HP's chief communications officer.

Gomez will also become a member of HP's executive council and will be responsible for media and industry analyst relations, as well as communicating with employees and governments.

"Henry is an excellent manager and communications executive," Whitman said in a statement. "People around the world care deeply about HP, and I believe we have an important obligation to clearly explain where we're headed and why."

The Silicon Valley technology giant is grappling to right itself under Whitman, the former eBay CEO who replaced HP's former chief executive, Leo Apotheker, following a series of management missteps.

She quickly moved to reverse his decision to spin off its PC division, and also moved to offer its flagging webOS mobile operating system as open-source code for developers to modify. The future of webOS was in question after Apotheker said HP would stop making tablet computers and smartphones.

Several executives have left recently and analysts are looking for the company to carve out a strategy going forward.

Gomez spent most of the last decade working at eBay, where he served as senior vice president of corporate communications and president of Internet calling service Skype. Most recently, he ran his own consulting business, which included providing communications advice to tax firm H&R Block. Last year, he was appointed to the board of BJ's Restaurants Inc.

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