HP Loses Several Top Vertica Execs As Big Data Talent Wars Heat Up

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Hewlett-Packard's Vertica team has lost several top executives since former CEO Chris Lynch stepped down in March, and most of them have ended up at competing big data analytics vendors.

In the past month, Vertica CTO Dan Holle left HP to take the CTO position at Greenplum, a division of EMC; Mingsheng Hong, who according to his LinkedIn profile was field CTO at Vertica, left to become chief data scientist at Hadapt; Renee Bochman, director of customer service, left to become vice president of client services at Kyruus; and Brian Murphy, regional sales director, left to take the same position at Hadapt.

An HP spokesperson confirmed the departures to CRN on Monday. The ex-Vertica executives have also updated their LinkedIn profiles to reflect their new positions.


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HP also confirmed that Scott Howser, Vertica's vice president of product marketing; Vinay Samuel, vice president of Asia Pacific sales; and Andy Stubley, vice president of EMEA sales are no longer with the company.

Competition for talent in the big data space is becoming ferocious, and the Vertica defections are not, on their own, a sign of trouble at HP. Still, the talent exodus is likely to hamper HP's plan to become a major player in big data analytics, one HP partner told CRN.

"The problem for HP is that it does not have anything close to EMC/Greenplum and IBM Netezza," said one source, who requested anonymity. "Without the folks to continue developing Vertica, that group could be in trouble."

HP acquired Vertica last March for a reported $350 million. Lynch, an outspoken big data evangelist, is now a partner at Atlas Venture, a Cambridge, Mass.-based venture capital firm.

But despite the string of exits that have followed his departure, one source familiar with the matter told CRN that all the original designers of Vertica's core technology are still with the company.


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