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The triple-whammy of declining mainframe and Power Systems server sales and a resurgent X64 market has toppled IBM from the top rank in the server racket, according to statistics released by box counter Gartner. That means Hewlett-Packard has finally fulfilled its goal — since buying Compaq nearly a decade ago — of unseating Big Blue. Depending on how the current Power7 machines and future System z11 mainframes do, and what the long-term prospects are for any non-X64 server are, this could be a permanent change in the rankings. In the first quarter of 2010, HP pushed $3.39bn in iron, growing revenues by 15.9 per cent and giving it a 31.5 per cent share of the server pie.
Somewhere in California, Carly Fiorina must nearly have choked to death from laughter while stumping for a US Senate seat as news of her successor's sudden departure broke following a sexual-harassment probe. It has not been an easy five years for Mark Hurd, the former president, chief executive officer, and chairman of HP, the largest IT vendor in the world. Hurd, who took over as CEO in the wake of the topsy-turvy reign of Carly Fiorina in 2005, came in from staid NCR and made HP a little more predictable, financially. Something Wall Street and HP customers alike wanted very much. The tough tasks of making the HP-Compaq merger work in a radically changing, post-dot-com IT environment and building up HP's software and services business — goals set by Fiorina shortly after she came into HP from the outside as president in 1999 — fell to Hurd. Fiorina tried and failed to buy the IT consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers, eventually eaten by IBM.