HP's Donatelli Reassigned, Partners Hope For Better Enterprise Relationship


Hewlett-Packard partners Wednesday said they see the reassignment of HP Enterprise Group Executive Vice President Dave Donatelli as a move to a more partner-centric enterprise sales offensive.

Donatelli, the driving force behind HP's converged infrastructure product portfolio, including Moonshot, is being reassigned to a new role within the company, sources confirmed. All Things Digital was the first to report that Donatelli is moving to a new job.

One source within HP confirmed that the company will release details on the enterprise group changes after the company announces its third-fiscal-quarter earnings Wednesday.

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"I am very excited for the change," said Bob Venero, CEO of Future Tech, a Holbrook, N.Y., HP partner, No. 268 on CRN's Solution Provider 500 list. "I believe this change comes because of [HP CEO] Meg Whitman's focus to enhance and provide a more channel-friendly and driven environment like the PPS [Printing and Personal Systems] organization has done under [HP channel chief] Scott Dunsire. Future Tech has struggled with HP and its enterprise team under Donatelli's leadership, whereas our HP PPS business has flourished under the supervision and guidance of Dunsire. For the enterprise group, from what we have seen, all roads to market -- indirect and direct -- have not always been equal."

Venero said he sees the HP enterprise group changing of the guard as part of Whitman's plan to drive a more channel-centric go-to-market strategy. "To me this is another step in her plan to properly engage and leverage the channel that has made HP successful for the last 30 years," he said. "I am cautiously optimistic that this will have a positive impact for our enterprise relationships and direction with Hewlett-Packard."

The CEO for one of HP's top solution provider partners, who did not want to be identified, said he is hopeful that the new enterprise group boss will bring a more channel-centric focus to the group. "Meg is saying the right things," he said. "My message to her is that HP has the best channel program in the business and the best partners. Please make sure the team you bring in really understands your vision so we can all be on the same page and be successful together."

Donatelli's reassignment to a new role comes only two months after HP PPS Executive Vice President Todd Bradley was moved to a new post as executive vice president of strategic growth initiatives.

Dion Weisler, who joined HP 17 months ago and is currently senior vice president of HP PPS in Asia-Pacific and Japan, replaced Bradley.
Donatelli, a one-time 22-year EMC veteran who took the enterprise group reins four years ago, is credited with driving a new era of technology innovation at HP through acquisitions and enterprise product research initiatives such as HP's Moonshot server.

"Donatelli is a technology visionary," said the CEO for an HP solution provider, who did not want to be identified. "HP needs good technology people. Whatever Donatelli is or was, he was a well-respected technology visionary. He saved HP's storage business by buying 3Par. Meg is a great entrepreneur, but you need a strong technologist to run the HP enterprise business and pull the whole product set together from server to storage to networking."

PUBLISHED AUG. 21, 2013