HPE’s Whitman announced she is quitting as the CEO and claims that her channel track record was a critical aspect of her six year reign.
On 1 February 2018, Whitman will be replaced by the current president Antonio Neri, who joined HP in 1995 as a customer service engineer in the EMEA call centre.
Shareholders were not happy – HPE’s shares were down by nearly eight percent in after-hours trading, despite Q4 results topping expectations.
Whitman was appointed as HP CEO in September 2011 following the departure of much-maligned predecessor Leo Apotheker and quickly implemented a five-year turnaround.
She hived off the printer and PC arm of HP in 2015, and put in motion the most significant corporate divorce in history.
HPE’s headcount is now standing at less than 50,000, compared with nearly 350,000 when she joined.
In the UK she was known for dropping in on top HP resellers, including Softcat and CDW in the UK for tea and biscuits and talk up HP and HPE’s channel-friendly credentials at its partner summits.
According to HPE’s statement today, the vendor improved customer and partner satisfaction under her leadership, as well as rebuilding its balance sheet, strengthening operations and reigniting innovation.
HPE has delivered a shareholder return of 89 percent – three times that of the S&P 500 – HPE pointed out.
“I’m incredibly proud of all we’ve accomplished since I joined HP in 2011”, Whitman said.
“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.”
HPE’s Q4 revenue rose five percent year on year to $7.8 billion, the company also announced.
Whitman will remain on the HPE board of directors.