Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) CEO Meg Whitman will be stepping down from her position by end-January 2018. She will be replaced by Antonio Neri, current president of the company, who takes over on 1 February 2018.
Whitman joined Hewlett Packard in 2011 and architected the company’s split into two entities, HPE and HP Inc (headed by Dion Weisler) in 2015, as she believed the company was too big and sold too many disparate products. She argued that the company’s size and management structure hampered its efforts to keep up with technology trends.
HPE would concentrate on the server and data centre business while HP Inc inherited the PC and printer business. Even after the split, HPE continued to jettison portions of its business deemed non-essential to its mission. This included its software business, IT services business, and its Indian IT Outsourcing unit, Mphasis.
According to Whitman, the company is in better shape than when she first joined although “this company was a slower company than I would have liked to see six years ago,” she told analysts. With the restructuring completed, she said, “The next CEO needs to be a deeper technologist. That is exactly what Antonio is.
“He is ready to take the reins and go the distance. He has worked at almost every business in this company. I just think it’s the right thing,” she said.
Whitman’s announcement came as a surprise. In July 2017, amidst rumours of her joining Uber as CEO, she tweeted, “We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere.”
Whitman did not reveal her plans beyond HPE but insisted that she will not join a competitor.