Roundup: Executive Shakeup at HP

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HP announced a series of management changes on Monday, with some executives changing roles and others departing. Long-time HP exec Ann Livermore, who ran the HP Enterprise Business, will move to the company’s board. Three current executives – executive vice president for Enterprise Servers Dave Donatelli, executive vice president of software Bill Veghte, executive vice president of global software Jan Zadak – will now report directly to HP President and CEO Leo Apotheker, giving their respective units greater visibility and support. Meanwhile, CIO Randy Mott and chief administrative officer Pete Bocian are leaving HP.

HP said it is also sharpening its focus on both China and India. Todd Bradley will lead cross-business initiatives focused on expanding HP’s market share in China, while Vyomesh Joshi will lead similar efforts in India.

There was lots of reaction from around the web. Here’s a roundup of the notable analysis and commentary:

  • Between The Lines (Larry Dignan) – Among the moves, Livermore’s departure is probably the largest. Livermore has frequently been a CEO candidate, but never made the final cut. Throughout the CEO changes—Lew Platt, Carly Fiorina, Mark Hurd and Apotheker—Livermore continued to find key roles at HP. Livermore has been with HP for 29 years.
  • Bloomberg – The elevation of Donatelli, Zadak and Veghte could temporarily hamper Apotheker’s efforts to reignite growth as the company adjusts to the changes, ISI Group analyst Abhey Lamba said in a note to clients today. Many large customers that long dealt with Livermore will need to forge relationships with new executives, said Sterne Agee’s Wu. “Ann’s been a fixture,” he said.
  • InformationWeek – Mott had a huge impact on HP’s IT operations after being hired by CEO Mark Hurd in 2005 to run IT with the kind of discipline and accountability that Hurd demanded of business executives. Mott transformed the HP IT operation through a massive consolidation and centralization effort. Under Mott, HP went from 86 data centers scattered around the world down to six global data centers through a three-year consolidation. Along with it, Mott brought new discipline to IT budgeting, forcing business units to do cost-benefit analysis for every IT project, regardless of size. That process yielded what Mott referred to as the “revenue of IT”–the benefits that IT projects, so that discussions didn’t focus entirely on what IT costs.
  • The Register – HP is now looking for someone to run the Enterprise Services unit, which is basically EDS plus the professional services and outsourcing business that HP had built on its own prior to acquiring EDS for $13.9bn in May 2009. The Technology Services part of the Enterprise Business was moved over to HP’s Enterprise Server, Storage and Networking group, and its general manager was made a direct report to Apotheker at the time.
  • CNET News – HP painted the moves as more closely in line with “its corporate structure with the strategy it announced in March.” That was when Apotheker first laid out his vision for the company he joined last fall. He wants HP to focus on three areas: cloud services, connectivity among devices, and software.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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