Stephen DeWitt, a 25-year technology veteran with a keen eye for emerging technologies and a fiery advocate for Hewlett-Packard solution providers, is leaving HP, CRN has learned.
DeWitt, the one-time leader of the Americas printing and personal systems group and former general manager of HP's WebOS global business unit, is stepping aside at the end of September.
HP said DeWitt's departure in no way diminishes the company's focus on the channel. In fact, HP said the channel remains a top priority as the company moves aggressively to drive sales growth.
DeWitt, a five-year HP veteran who took an assignment last April as senior vice president and general manager of global marketing for HP's Enterprise business, was one of the first HP senior executives to recognize the consumerization of IT trend.
DeWitt, in fact, urged partners to move aggressively to capitalize on bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend by offering customers smartphones and mobile devices.
When HP acquired Palm, a maker of smartphones and mobile devices, in April 2010, it was DeWitt who rallied partners around the smartphone opportunity. "As we look at the future of connected devices, there is a tremendous opportunity for our partners in that mix," said DeWitt immediately following the acquisition. "This sets the table for partner opportunity. How we mold that and shape that is the future ahead."
Jed Ayres, senior vice president partner management and marketing for MCPc, a Cleveland solution provider and HP partner that has seen big sales growth with its Anyplace workspace BYOD offering, said DeWitt was a technology visionary who helped drive big HP sales gains at MCPc.
"I would put him on a top 10 list of visionary strategic thinkers," said Ayres. "He had a vision of where the IT business was going and a magnetic personality. There was no one better at articulating the HP vision and strategy. That's why it is a shock to me that he is leaving."
DeWitt, an executive sponsor for MCPc, spoke at a number of MCPc CIO roundtables and seminars, helping the solution provider close significant HP business, said Ayres. "DeWitt was like a lightning rod for us," he said. "He is a remarkable guy with a passion for the industry and a real sense of the soul of HP. He was willing to do hand-to-hand combat to help us win over customers. It was a huge deal for us to have a senior vice president and general manager of HP willing to roll up his sleeves and get on a red eye to talk to our joint customers."
DeWitt's most recent appearance at MCPc was just last month at a breakfast seminar that was streamed live and available for replay on the MCPc website. "Do yourself a favor and watch it," said Ayres of DeWitt's off the cuff session. "It is awesome!"
PUBLISHED SEPT. 10, 2013