What makes him powerful: According to Forbes, Todd Bradley was former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd's first hire after Hurd took the HP helm from Carly Fiorina in 2005. Bradley subsequently helped launch HP's "The computer is personal again" ad campaign, which helped propel HP past Dell to become the largest PC maker. Under Bradley's leadership, HP's $42 billion personal systems group added more than $10 billion in revenues and increased profitability threefold.
But Bradley's re-emergence into the wireless industry is what puts him into this list--Bradley oversaw HP's acquisition of Palm earlier this year for $1.2 billion. The move put HP squarely into the smartphone game via Palm's well-received webOS smartphone operating system.
Further, the action brings Bradley full circle--Bradley himself served as CEO of Palm from 2001 to 2005, where he helped the company transition from the PDA market and into the smartphone game. Bradley has been credited with refining Palm's supply chain in order to improve the company's handset prospects.
That kind of business acumen is exactly what Bradley will need to employ--in spades--in handling Palm's webOS business to compete against the likes of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google. Though Palm's webOS has scored high marks among reviewers, Palm's Pre and Pixi gadgets suffered from dismal sales at top wireless carriers including Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T). HP's Palm business has already released version 2 of both its Pre device and webOS operating system, but did so with little fanfare. Industry watchers are now holding their collective breath to see how Bradley plans to leverage HP's size and scale to tackle the smartphone market.
And that's where the power of Bradley's position comes from: He's proven he can be successful, and he commands vast purchasing and manufacturing facilities in HP--factors that will make him a force with which to be reckoned. --Mike