HP Exec Jumps Ship, Joins Apple (UPDATE)

Hewlett-Packardis senior vice president of marketing, Allison Johnson, has left the company to join Apple Computer, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Ms. Johnson leaves HP less than one week after Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina was fired. HP said Ms. Johnsonis departure wasnit related to Fiorinais departure and was made prior to the HP executive shakeup. Ms. Johnson was not available for comment.

Ms. Johnson will assume the role of vice president of worldwide marketing communications at Apple and will report directly to CEO Steve Jobs. She previously worked at Apple on a contract basis, as well as IBM and Netscape, before joining HP in 1999. She played a key roll in HPis takeover of Compaq and later spearheaded the subsequent "+HP = everything is possible" advertising campaign.

"This was a personal decision made prior to and independent of the change in CEO," HP Chief Marketing Officer Mike Winkler said in the e-mail to company staff on Monday. Winkler said Johnsonis departure "does not imply any changes to the strategy and direction of the marketing function or the company overall."

Ms. Johnson holds a bacheloris degree in journalism and communications from the University of Florida.

Ms. Johnson leaves HP to join Apple as a marketing VP. (Photo courtesy HP)