CRN Exclusive: HPE Marketing Titan Gomez Stepping Down, HPE SVP Jackson Is Being Promoted To CMO

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Executive Vice President Henry Gomez (pictured), who has been a key player in the transformation of the hybrid IT powerhouse, is stepping aside effective June 1 and is being replaced as chief marketing officer by Jim Jackson, a 27 year IT veteran.

Gomez, who worked closely with former HPE CEO Meg Whitman for more than two decades including on her California gubernatorial run, is planning to take "at least the summer off before jumping into something new," according to an internal email announcing the departure and the promotion of HPE Senior Vice President of Marketing Jackson.

"Henry has contributed to every major strategic decision our company has made since his arrival," said HPE CEO Antonio Neri in an email to HPE employees. "His accurate feel for our evolving narrative, as well as his deep understanding of marketing and how best to reach today’s customers and tell our story, have made him an important leader and a key advisor to Meg, our board of directors, and me. I will miss Henry’s candid counsel and sense of humor."

Neri thanked Gomez, who refashioned the HPE brand and spearheaded an impressive digital marketing offensive that benefitted partners, for the "many contributions and the commitment" he made to HPE over the last six years. "I wish Henry the very best," said Neri.

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Jackson, who will report to Neri, is being promoted to become the company's Chief Marketing Officer effective June 1.

Jackson, who has been leading the charge on HPE's massive digital demand generation and sales enablement initiatives, will celebrate his 20th anniversary with HPE this year.

Neri, for his part, praised Jackson as an "outstanding executive whose commitment to our company and passion for marketing excellence have impressed Henry and many others, including me."

Jackson has worked side by side with Gomez on the HPE branding and strategy for the last three years, said Neri.

"As global head of Enterprise Group Marketing, Jim helped Henry launch the HPE brand in 2015 and has held day-to-day responsibility for product marketing, demand generation, thought leadership, strategic events, and sales enablement," said Neri. "In close collaboration with Sales and Product Development, Jim has led the way in identifying new growth opportunities for HPE centered on our Hybrid IT, Edge, and Services based strategy."

Neri said Jackson is "one of the best I’ve seen at creating clear product value propositions that resonate with customers" and is also deeply committed to a "tight bond between Sales and Marketing in driving business results."

Gomez, for his part, said in an internal email that he could not "be more excited" about Jackson's promotion. "Jim earned his promotion through intense perseverance, great skill, and a commitment to excellence the likes of which I’ve rarely encountered during my 30-year career," said Gomez. "I am leaving Marketing in the best of hands, with someone I admire and feel privileged to call a friend."

Gomez said when he first met Jackson in August 2013 he had an "inkling he might one day" that the 27 year IT veteran would follow in his footsteps as the next CMO of HPE. "During our first meeting, I gave Jim a tough task with an impossible deadline," said Gomez. "He took up the challenge and delivered and has kept delivering ever since."

Gomez said one of the reasons he stayed on after the departure of Whitman, who on March 1 became CEO at Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg's NewTV mobile first media company, was to help Neri drive the HPE Next initiative to streamline and simplify HPE.

Neri said Lynn Anderson the senior vice president of demand generation and channel marketing who has been leading the Built to Win Next initiative, will now report to Senior Vice President Jon Faust.

Gomez called HPE Marketing & Communications "a world-class organization" that is "spearheading innovation in product marketing, digital demand generation, thought leadership, sales enablement, and public relations."

What's more, he said, it has been "an honor to work at HP, to help restore an iconic brand, and to work with all of you on creating a new one. We’ve played a role in business history."

Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of Orange, Calif.-based CB Technologies, an HPE Platinum partner and No. 245 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, said the appointment of Jackson, a highly regarded channel advocate, will help partners acceleratedigital transformation adoption by customers.

"I know Jim and he is an avid supporter of partners," said Ireland, a member of HPE's partner advisory board. "I am confident he will carry on Henry Gomez's commitment to the channel. I am looking forward to working with him."