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Hewlett-Packard is tapping Thomas Hogan, the CEO of Vignette, to head its software business, the latest move by the computer giant to bolster its management software offerings.

The 46-year-old Hogan will begin his new position on Feb. 20 and will be replacing Nora Denzel, who stepped down in December for personal reasons. Hogan will be senior vice presidents of the software business, and will report to Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP’s Technology Solutions Group.

Hogan comes to a software business that has been trying to find its financial feet. In HP’s fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 31, 2005, the software group generated $311 million in revenue—with revenue for its OpenView management software jumping 16 percent—and a $27 million profit.

Click here to read about the resignation of former HP software chief Nora Denzel.

However, for the entire 2005 fiscal year, the group lost $59 million on $1.07 billion in revenues.

Vignette, of Austin, Texas, makes software that helps businesses manage their applications and content. The company covers areas such as enterprise content management, Web content management, document and records management, portals and collaboration.

Hogan, who has more than 20 years in the technology industry with such companies as IBM and Siebel Systems, first came to Vignette in 2001 as its president and chief operating officer. He was named CEO in 2002.

“Tom is a seasoned software leader with a strong business track record,” Livermore said in a prepared statement. “His deep domain expertise makes him an ideal leader for our software business and a great addition to the HP team.”

The hiring of Hogan dovetails with HP’s push to strengthen its management software portfolio. At the HP Technology Forum in October, Livermore in her keynote speech said the company would continue to grow its SIM (Systems Insight Manager) and OpenView software through both in-house innovation and acquisitions.

The goal is to create a unified management platform encompassing not only hardware but all IT resources, such as applications and operating systems.

HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., last year bought several management software companies, including AppIQ, RLX Technologies and Peregrine Systems.

The acquisition of RLX’s Control Tower software strengthened SIM’s capabilities in the Linux and blade server arenas, and could grow to include Windows environments.

Buying AppIQ targeted storage management and Peregrine was acquired for its asset tracking software.

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