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HP to announce new Middle East MD this month

PC vendor claims search for new regional leader has been completed

Mohamed Itani has been running HP’s Middle East business during the last five months, but will return to his original operations role when a new MD comes on board later this month.
Mohamed Itani has been running HP’s Middle East business during the last five months, but will return to his original operations role when a new MD comes on board later this month.

HP Middle East has selected the candidate it wants to run its Middle East operations and will announce his identity later this month.

The PC giant has finally settled on a new regional managing director following an exhaustive five-month search that began when John Hoonhout relinquished the post earlier this year.

HP's regional operations chief and interim managing director, Mohamed Itani - who has been directly involved in the search after ruling himself out of the job from day one - said the objective was to recruit an executive with a long-term plan for leading  HP's business in the region.

"We are talking about somebody who can lead the organisation not only for the next few months but for years to come; somebody with the calibre to attend to certain huge growth initiatives in the market," said Itani.

Given HP's diverse hardware, services and solutions portfolio, Itani said it was important for the new chief to have the right "breadth of knowledge" across the IT spectrum. Part of the responsibility of the managing director's role involves running the company's Technology Solutions division.

The new boss will also form part of HP's ‘country board', which includes Itani and the general managers of the company's PSG and IPG units among others.

Itani said the vendor had taken into account a number of factors when conducting its search.

"Middle East experience was one of the criteria, so was experience of working at a multinational and an IT background, and Arabic-speaking is a plus. So there are certain critical requirements and semi-critical requirements,' said Itani. "The new addition is not strange to the IT industry. He is somebody who has been in the region for a while and he is a well-respected individual."

In what could be an indication that HP has ventured outside of the company to find its man, Itani admitted HP was in need of an executive who could look at the operation with "completely fresh eyes".

Itani, meanwhile, will return to his original operations management role once the permanent MD is on board, as well as begin a new initiative focused on driving HP's growth in emerging markets.