Todd Bradley tipped as Mark Hurd's HP successor -

Hewlett Packard, which recently to media fanfare booted out CEO Mark Hurd over expenses allegations, has decided that it wants to pick its next chief executive from within the company, The Wall Street Journal reveals.

The last two CEOs HP has had were brought in from the outside, Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd, who were from Lucent Technologies and NCR Corp respectively. However, a source in the know told the WSJ that directors are hunting HP offices for top talent. Top candidates, said the source, are Todd Bradley, Ann Livermore and Dave Donatelli.

It's corporate nature in the States to have at least three billion vice presidents in your organisation. Todd Bradley, alleged candidate #1 is just one of them. He's been busy heading up HP's Personal Systems Group and is on the executive council.  He used to be CEO at Palm and has done well to boost HP's PC manufacturing.

Candidate #2 is, you guessed it, another vice president. Her name is Ann Livermore and she's been heading up HP's enterprise division since 2004.

Internal candidate #3 is Dave Donatelli who moved from EMC - where he had most recently been acting president of the storage division - after 22 years over to HP in 2009.  Currently he is executive VP and general manager, and looks after enterprise servers, storage and networking in HP Enterprise Business. Donatelli oversaw the handbags-at-dawn bidding war of the 3PAR acquisition.

At first, recruiters had urged members of the board that they should look within their own organisation to appoint the new head honcho. The directors apparently said they needed to look outside, first. But it appears that Bradley has some backing from within HP already and is hot tipped to be the reliable choice.  

Talking to the WSJ, managing partner at Caldwell Partners recruiting in Dallas said Bradley has a reputation for being "a good solid operator" and is considered to be a viable successor - as he's similar to Hurd. Better watch the expenses card.

Hurd meanwhile is receiving rave reviews over at Lounge Lizard Larry Ellison's Oracle - early reports have suggested that he's confident and unwavering despite having only been in the position for the opposite of donkey's years, whatever that is.