IBM Execs Rebuff HP: Report

HP has been rebuffed by two senior IBM execs in its search for a new CEO, according to <i>Reuters</i>.
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PALO ALTO, California (

TheStreet

) --

HP's

(HPQ) - Get Report

search for a new CEO may be getting tougher.

Reuters

reports that the tech giant recently approached two senior executives at arch-rival

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

about the role, but has been turned down.

HP reached out to IBM software chief Steve Mills during the early stages of the company's CEO hunt, according to

Reuters

, which cites two unnamed sources with knowledge of the approach. Mills, who is

one of IBM's heaviest hitters

, reportedly rebuffed HP.

Reuters

reports that Virginia Rometty, senior vice president for IBM's sales, marketing and strategy, was also targeted, but similarly declined HP's approach.

HP's quest follows the

departure of former CEO Mark Hurd

amid an expenses scandal that sent shockwaves through the tech sector. Hurd, who took the helm at HP following the departure of Carly Fiorina, is credited with turning the tech giant's fortunes around, and there has been intense speculation about

who will replace him.

Ann Livermore, head of H-P's $54 billion enterprise business,

has been touted as potential successor to Hurd

, along with

HP storage chief Dave Donatelli.

Todd Bradley, the VP who runs HP's personal computer business, and the company's printer boss Vyomesh Joshi have also been mentioned as likely internal candidates.

There has also been chatter linking

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

executive Ned Hooper with the vacant HP hotseat, as well as

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

COO Tim Cook, although this seems highly unlikely given

Apple's continued growth

and Cook's esteemed status as Steve Jobs' right-hand-man. Widely regarded as the company's heir apparent, Cook took over the running of Apple during Steve Jobs' recent medical leave and has helped grow Apple to its current $259 billion market cap.

Cook reportedly described the rumor linking him to HP as "ridiculous" earlier this week.

HP shares dipped 33 cents, or 0.78%, to $42.20 on Thursday, mirroring the broader fall in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq slip 0.76%.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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