Over And Out: 20 Notable HP Executive Exits From The Past Year10:35 AM EST Fri. Feb. 15, 2013
With all of the changes HP has gone through over the past year, perhaps it's no surprise that they've had a number of executive departures as well. Here's a look at 20 of the most notable:
The highest-ranking executive to exit Hewlett-Packard during Meg Whitman's tenure thus far was Vyomesh Joshi, a 31-year veteran ousted as executive vice president of HP's former Imaging and Printing Group (IPG). Back in March 2012, HP merged IPG with its Personal Systems Group to form the Printing and Personal Systems Group, now headed by Executive Vice President Todd Bradley.
Palm seems destined to be remembered as a failed acquisition for HP -- one that certainly brought a lot of talent to, and then running from, the company. Chief among the Palm-related exits was Jon Rubinstein, one of Silicon Valley's best-known engineers, who left the company in late January 2012. Rubinstein was known as the father of the Apple iPod and had actually begun his career with HP in the mid-80s. Later, he was CEO of Palm during HP's $1.2 billion acquisition of the company, and he settled into the role of chief evangelist for WebOS.
HP has no more contentious relationship with an alumnus than with Mike Lynch, the former CEO of Autonomy who was booted from HP in May 2012 and has spent most of the past six months locked in a public relations bout with his former employer.
HP has accused Lynch and Autonomy of squirrely accounting that led to the company being overvalued at the time HP bought it -- and which later forced HP to take an $8.8 billion charge related to what it called "serious accounting improprieties." Lynch has attempted to turn things back around on HP, going so far as to publicly demand HP's board of directors lay out the exact accusations and their reasoning.
Lynch, of course, is one of several former Autonomy executives that have also left HP.
In what amounted to a double blow for HP's channel leadership, a three-week span brought the exits of both Frank Rauch, vice president of U.S. channels for HP's ESSN group (and now in VMware's channel executive team) …
… and Meaghan Kelly, vice president of channel strategy, who left in mid-June to take over global channel marketing at SAP.
It was a curious move, confirmed in mid-January 2013: Zorawar "Biri" Singh, who for two years was the public face of HP's cloud strategy, was confirmed to be exiting. Singh, who's title was senior vice president and general manager for HP Cloud Services, joined HP from IBM under former CEO Leo Apotheker in 2011. Saar Gillai, former vice president and general manager of cloud networking and CTO of HP Networking, is now general manager of HP's Converged Cloud business unit, which Singh and his team created last fall.
It was the first of what turned out to be many notable HP executive changes in 2012: Tom LaRocca, the 12-year HP veteran who helped build its PartnerONE program, bolted for Oracle, where he's now vice president of worldwide product strategy and alliances.
Channel veteran Kevin Hooper was well-known for different sales and channel roles at IBM when he joined HP in 2007. Five years later, in October 2012, he left HP after several postings, including as vice president and general manager for HP Networking. In November, Hooper resurfaced as senior vice president of NEC's Enterprise Platform Solutions business.
As head of HP Labs, Prith Banerjee was effectively overseeing all of HP's research and development organization. But Banerjee, a senior vice president, was revealed to be leaving HP in April. About six months later, HP named Martin Fink, formerly head of HP's Business Critical Server unit, to succeed Banerjee as CTO and HP Labs head.
It was a particularly bad stretch for HP financial news, as the company in August 2012 said it expected to write down $8 billion related to its Services division. At the time, John Visentin, who had become head of HP Enterprise Services a year earlier, was confirmed to be leaving as well.
A slew of fresh HP exits happened in November 2012, including that of Eric Keshin, former senior vice president of marketing and strategy in HP's Printing and Personal Systems group. Keshin had been with HP since March 2011 after 12 years spent at ad agency McCann Worldgroup.
Sam Greenblatt bounced around HP a bit -- he was CTO of the WebOS unit, then general manager, Critical Systems Management Unit -- before finally leaving the company in the fall. Greenblatt landed at Dell, where he became chief technical evangelist for Dell's Enterprise Solutions Group.
More than one man named Lynch ran a company that was acquired by HP and then left that company in HP's questionably capable hands. Chris Lynch was CEO of Vertica when HP bought it in February 2011, and about a year later left the big data company to focus his attention on startups. Lynch had joined Vertica in 2010 following a stint as senior vice president of data solutions at F5 Networks, which had acquired in 2007 the company he previously ran, Acopia Networks.
Alan Kessler was best known to partners as the vice president of worldwide sales and service for HP's enterprise security products, including the TippingPoint business it acquired with 3Com in 2010. Kessler left HP in September, and in November, turned up as the CEO of encryption specialist Vormetric.
The path from HP to Oracle was well-tread over the past two years by executives such as Gary Koopman, who joined fellow HP alumni at its software giant rival in May 2012. Koopman, HP's former vice president of U.S. distribution, joined Oracle as group vice president of North America hardware, alliances and channel sales.
HP lost more than a few executives to Dell last year, and one was Armughan Ahmad, Americas channel chief for HP's all-important Networking unit. Ahmad, who since 2010 had been vice president, Americas channel sales for HP Networking, joined Dell as vice president, global networking sales in May 2012.
Network automation player Infoblox, which had a successful initial public offering (IPO) in 2012, was also successful in hiring a number of veteran Valley executives to join its team. They included David Gee, a nine-year HP veteran who in April joined Infoblox as executive vice president of marketing. Gee's various HP postings included vice president of worldwide marketing for HP Enterprise Services and vice president, marketing for HP Software.
As a 24-year HP veteran, Dave Frederickson was a staple of the HP Canada community. In November 2012, however, he transitioned out of HP to become vice president of business development for Long View Systems, the Calgary-based converged infrastructure integrator. Frederickson's most recent title at HP was vice president and general manager of HP's ESSN unit for Canada.
Back-to-back exits relevant to HP's storage business back in February 2012: First came Emil Sayegh, former vice president of marketing in HP's storage group, who became CEO of Codero, the cloud-hosting company. Then came David Barr, who ran HP's $350 million LeftHand storage business, but then left to become vice president of cloud storage engineering at Nirvanix.
Ari Jaaksi has been all over the place in the last few years. He spent more than a decade at Nokia, where he led software, hardware and user experience, before going to HP, where he became senior vice president of WebOS software and services. Jaaksi opted out of HP, however, and in October 2012 was named senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Engineering and Operations, at McAfee.