Hewlett-Packard's top marketing executive is leaving the company to take a post at Apple.

This occurs less than a week after the departure of HP Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina, an HP spokeswoman said Monday.

Allison Johnson, senior vice president of corporate marketing, resigned on February 4, a company spokeswoman said. She was asked by the board of directors to stay with HP through its fourth-quarter earnings report and the announcement of Fiorina's dismissal, the spokeswoman said. Her last day with the company will be Friday.

Apple has hired Johnson to become vice president of worldwide marketing communications, reporting directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, an Apple spokesman said. She will focus on Apple's advertising and marketing communications around the world, the Apple spokesman said.

Johnson has been the top executive responsible for HP's corporate marketing, advertising and media relations tasks since the company merged with Compaq in 2002, according to HP. She first joined HP in 1999 after previous positions with IBM and Netscape.

After the Fiorina-led decision to purchase Compaq was made final in 2002, Johnson was entrusted with changing HP's corporate image from a printer company to a global IT hardware conglomerate. HP has also dramatically expanded its consumer marketing in an attempt to push into a growing world of consumer electronics products, such as digital cameras and music players.

A replacement has not yet been identified, the HP spokeswoman said.

HP's new CEO will have several marketing-related decisions to hash out, including how to boost PC sales and how best to position the company against the likes of IBM and Dell. Analysts credited Fiorina with reviving HP's brand and image following the Compaq acquisition, but faulted her for failing to capitalize on the combined strengths of HP and Compaq products.