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Hewlett-Packard Appoints John Schultz as General Counsel

Hewlett-Packard Co. said it promoted John Schultz to executive vice president and general counsel, permanently filling a job vacated when the company’s top lawyer stepped down in December.

Schultz, who joined Hewlett-Packard in 2008, will be a member of the company’s executive council and report to Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a statement today.

“John will only continue to elevate HP’s standards of excellence and integrity,” Whitman said in a statement.

Schultz takes the new job as Hewlett-Packard tussles in court with rival Oracle Corp. The computer maker objects to Oracle’s plan to stop developing products for Intel Corp.’s Itanium chip, a component of certain high-end Hewlett-Packard machines. A trial is scheduled to begin May 31 in San Jose, California, Hewlett-Packard spokesman Michael Thacker said.

Whitman, in a memo obtained by Bloomberg, said the appointment reflects her drive to elevate internal managers.

“I have said many times that my goal is to promote from within HP and today’s announcement is a great example,” she said.

Whitman said in February that Hewlett-Packard’s next CEO will probably come from within.

Former general counsel Michael Holston, who had joined in 2007 under then CEO Mark Hurd, departed in December to pursue other opportunities, Hewlett-Packard said at the time. The company named David Healy, a partner at Fenwick & West LLP, to serve as interim general counsel after Holston left.

Schultz previously worked at the law firms Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and Latham & Watkins.

Merck & Co. said last month that Holston will become its chief ethics and compliance officer, effective June 25.

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