After presiding over the biggest separation in corporate history, Meg Whitman announced today she is quitting as HPE CEO, with the vendor holding up her track record with partners as a key aspect of her six-year reign.
On 1 February 2018, Whitman will hand the baton to current president Antonio Neri, who joined HP firm in 1995 as a customer service engineer in the EMEA call centre.
HPE's shares were down by nearly eight per cent 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.
Her decision to hive off printer and PC arm HP Inc in 2015 put in motion the largest corporate separation in history.
Adding in the spin off and mergers of HPE's Enterprise Services and Software arms, HP has really split itself into four parts, with HPE's headcount now standing at less than 50,000, compared with nearly 350,000 when she joined.
Whitman had a habit of dropping in on top HP resellers, including the likes of Softcat and CDW in the UK, and - in contrast to some former CEOs - was only too happy to 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. Since it was born in November 2015, HPE has delivered a shareholder return of 89 per cent - 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," said Meg Whitman, CEO of HPE. "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."
Dan Laws, managing director at CDW UK, was among those reacting to the news on Twitter.
Whitman was linked with the top job at Uber in the summer, leading to predictions she might be gone by the end of 2018.
HPE's Q4 revenue rose five per cent year on year to $7.8bn, the company also announced. One per cent of that was due to acquisitions.
Neri will become president and CEO in February, with Whitman remaining on the HPE board of directors.
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