Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) chief executive officer, Meg Whitman, will step down early next year, with the company’s president, Antonio Neri, set to take up the reins, the company has revealed.
The leadership shuffle, effective from 1 February 2018, also sees Neri join the HPE board of directors, where Whitman will remain after stepping down as CEO.
Whitman has been at the helm of the company since 2011, when she became president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard until 2015, when she was tasked with leading the tech giant’s turnaround internally, and subsequent separation into two companies, HPE and HP Inc.
As CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Whitman has since spun-off the vendor's Enterprises Services division as DXC Technology and its Software division to Micro Focus. The company has also undertaken a number of strategic acquisitions under Whitman’s watch, including Aruba, SGI, SimpliVity and Nimble Storage.
“I’m incredibly proud of all we’ve accomplished since I joined HP in 2011,” Whitman said in a statement. “Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets.
“Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future,” she said.
News of Whitman’s impending departure comes just four months after she took to social media claiming that she was “fully committed to HPE and plan to remain the company's CEO,” following rumours she was being considered as a frontrunner to head up ridesharing app developer, Uber.
“We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere. Uber's CEO will not be Meg Whitman,” she said at the time.
Previously, Whitman served as president and CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008, overseeing the company’s growth from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue.
Away from technology, Whitman also lost her bid to win the California governorship, before being tapped to head up Hewlett-Packard in 2010.
Neri, meanwhile, will step into the top job more than 20 years after joining HP as a customer service engineer in the EMEA call center.
He went on to hold various roles in HP’s Printing business and then to run customer service for HP’s Personal Systems unit. In 2011, Neri began running the company’s Technology Services business, then its Server and Networking business units, before running all of Enterprise Group beginning in 2015.
As the leader for HPE’s largest business segment, comprising server, storage, networking and services solutions, Neri was responsible for setting the research and development agenda, bringing innovations to market, and go-to-market strategy and execution.
Neri was appointed president of HPE in June 2017.
“Antonio is an HPE veteran with a passion for the company’s customers, partners, employees and culture,” HPE’s chairman and board of directors, Pat Russo, said. “He has worked at Meg’s side and is the right person to deliver on the vision the company has laid out.”