HP's Cloud Evangelist Departs For Big Data Startup

It was only a few weeks ago that Margaret Dawson, vice president of product marketing and cloud evangelist at Hewlett-Packard, was tweeting about HP’s Helion line of cloud offerings in which the company has invested more than $1 billion.

But a tweet Tuesday from Dawson signaled a different course -- a departure to work as chief marketing officer at Rival IQ, a Seattle startup developing market monitoring software.

An HP spokesperson confirmed Dawson left the company earlier this month, but declined to comment on the circumstances of the departure or whether she’ll be replaced.

John Clark, founder CEO of Rival IQ, told CRN that Dawson started working at the company Tuesday.

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’There are lots of trends going on around cloud and big data and analytics, and they’re all sort of colliding and intersecting. Margaret has been part of these trends as a thought leader in this space at big companies and small,’ Clark said.

Rival IQ had been looking for someone with breadth of experience and visibility in the marketplace to join the company in its early stage.

’We connected with Margaret and fell in love with her style and her approach,’ Clark told CRN.

Dawson came to HP in 2012 and took the cloud evangelist role in February 2013 after holding senior executive roles with Symform, a peer-to-peer cloud data storage provider, and Hubspan, a cloud B2B integration platform that was acquired by Liaison Technologies. She started out as a security expert, and she had worked two year stints in product management roles both at Microsoft and at Amazon.

Clark said Dawson is a great example of how the role of CMO is becoming more technical, analytical and data-driven.

’Margaret spent a lot of her recent career with technical thought leaders and is a blending of those two things that we need, which is understanding what companies need to do to make data meaningful, but also the ability to deal with our customers’ issues within the marketing organization,’ Clark told CRN.