Tony Prophet was HP's senior vice-president of operations until May, when he left to become Microsoft's marketing boss for Windows.
HP earlier this month announced it would split off into two companies – HP Inc, comprising its printer and PC division, and HP Enterprise, encompassing its corporate services and hardware arm. The break-up in part reflects HP's struggles in a world where consumers are increasingly ditching computers for mobile, and will result in the loss of 5,000 jobs.
Prophet oversaw operations for HP's PC and printer business for eight and a half years, and said the area had consistently done well, in spite of recent struggles.
Speaking at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, he paid tribute to the company's history as the original Silicon Valley start-up and praised the company's "renaissance" under chief executive Meg Whitman.
HP is an icon and part of the foundation of Silicon Valley – a lot of the reason why Silicon Valley is here is because of HP
Prophet said: "It is an icon and part of the foundation of Silicon Valley, A lot of the reason why Silicon Valley is here is because of HP – think of all the businesses that sprung up after HP. I consider it the anchor point of Silicon Valley.
"I was part of [HP's] PC business originally, I brought the operations of the PCs and printers business together for the 34 quarters while I was there, and for 26 of those quarters we tended to have the highest margins in the PC business and printer business. [It was] an unquestioned leader in ink and laser printers.
"So that part of the business – some of my blood is still on the ground there – it's going to be a great business," he said.
Prophet added that HP was "well-positioned" on enterprise services, software and hardware.