HP Networking Chief Departs Amid Ongoing HP Executive Makeover


HP Networking leader Marius Haas has left the company, and HP has appointed a temporary leader within its Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) unit while it searches for a permanent replacement.

Haas, whose title was senior vice president and general manager, HP Networking, left to "pursue other interests," according to an HP spokesperson, who confirmed his departure to CRN over the weekend. Bethany Mayer, currently vice president of worldwide marketing and alliances for ESSN, will be acting lead for HP Networking effective immediately.

Bloomberg first reported Haas' departure, along with those of two other HP vice presidents, on Friday. HP did not comment to CRN on the reported departures of either Tom Iannotti or Gary Budzinski, both mentioned in the Bloomberg report, and, respectively, head of HP Enterprise Services and HP Technology Services.

Haas has joined private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) as an industry advisor, according to a statement issued by KKR early Monday. In his new role, Haas will work closely with the KKR team to "identify and pursue new investments, particularly in the technology sector, while supporting existing portfolio companies," KKR said.

Haas was named senior vice president and worldwide general manager for HP Networking in June 2008. He presided over a period of aggressive growth for a unit once considered an afterthought by HP, but that is now viewed as a strong No. 2 and legitimate networking challenger to Cisco.

Haas succeeded John McHugh, former ProCurve "godfather" and now chief marketing officer at Brocade, in the role. Among the big moves made during Haas' tenure atop HP Networking were HP's acquisition of 3Com in 2010, and more recently, the unveiling of HP FlexNetwork, a converged networking architecture.

Before HP Networking, which was formerly HP's ProCurve division, Haas was senior vice president, chief strategy officer and global head of corporate M&A for HP from 2003 to 2008. He first joined HP in 2001.

The other reported departures mentioned by Bloomberg come as HP CEO Leo Apotheker promises a massive technology services transformation at the computer giant. The goal, according to comments Apotheker made on an HP conference call last week, is to drive higher-margin technology services sales growth, and part of that bulk-up wlll including hiring an executive vice president of enterprise services who reports directly to Apotheker. HP also last week confirmed plans to combine its technology services group with ESSN.

According to Bloomberg, Iannotti will remain with HP until it hires that executive vice president Apotheker mentioned. Meanwhile, David Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager for ESSN, is now in charge of the technology services business Budzinski managed.

HP has seen a number of high-profile executive hires and exits in recent months as Apotheker, who succeeded Mark Hurd as HP's CEO in September 2010, reshapes his executive team. Among other recent HP departures was Thomas Hogan, formerly executive vice president of enterprise business sales and marketing.