GreenLake Ecosystem Superstar Keith White Is Leaving HPE
“If you think about where we are at as a company the timing seems right,” says Keith White, who helped power a GreenLake as a service transformation. “GreenLake is now mainstream throughout the company. It is everyone’s job. That is something that I am very proud of being able to bootstrap what we have done and now making it part of everyone’s job.”
Keith White, a driving force behind the HPE GreenLake as-a-service transformation, is stepping aside at the end of April to pursue other opportunities.
HPE CEO Antonio Neri informed employees of White’s imminent departure in an email in which he hailed the one-time HPE Executive Vice President and GreenLake general manager as “an exceptional colleague, friend, customer advocate, and team champion.”
“Through the last several years, Keith was instrumental in accelerating the development of HPE GreenLake,” said Neri. “Under his leadership, the HPE GreenLake Cloud Services Commercial Business team transformed our go-to-market approach to address customer priorities across edge, hybrid cloud, and AI. Guided by Keith’s vision and practical approach, HPE GreenLake has experienced strong momentum, reaching a market-leading position.”
White, a 20-year Microsoft cloud computing superstar, joined HPE in 2019 to deliver a public cloud-like experience for GreenLake partners and customers and to build out the partner ecosystem.
“Guided by Keith’s vision and practical approach, HPE GreenLake has experienced strong momentum, reaching a market-leading position,” said Neri. “This success enabled us to integrate the HPE GreenLake Cloud Services Commercial business group into the fabric of our company in October 2022. During this transition, he has continued in his role as executive sponsor for key customers and partners.”
Under White’s leadership, HPE GreenLake has become an on-premise cloud computing powerhouse with an annualized revenue run rate that exceeded $1 billion in the most recent quarter and total contract value of nearly $10 billion.
“I am incredibly thankful to him for his leadership, vision, and insights, which were critical to accelerating our transformation,” said Neri. “We would not be where we are today without him.”
HPE partners, for their part, said White was key in making GreenLake a robust edge-to-cloud service that could go head to head with public cloud providers.
“Keith was the key to really helping HPE become more cloud-like with all the integration and software,” said C.R. Howdyshell, president of Advizex, a Fulcrum IT partners company. “He understood the partner ecosystem extremely well. All the solutions he brought to HPE were consumable for partners like us building an as-a-service practice. He helped us clearly create more differentiation for our customers when we were talking about GreenLake.”
Howdyshell said it is critical that HPE continue to bring the kind of strong partner commitment and drive that White provided to continue to fuel GreenLake momentum. “I just don’t want to see us lose momentum,” he said. “The fact that Keith White was leading the charge when it came to what HPE was building with GreenLake gave me confidence to invest more in our everything as a service business.”
Advizex, which has become an everything as a service market leader, has doubled its GreenLake business every year for the last three years. Advizex anticipates total as-a-service revenue of $80 million, up from just $20 million three years ago.
Pat O’Dell, general manager and managing partner for Clinton, N.J.-based CPP Associates, one of the top GreenLake partners, said White was critical to making GreenLake a superior on premise cloud service.
“Keith came to HPE at a time when GreenLake was taxiing down the runway,” said O’Dell. “He helped GreenLake take off by expanding its reach, maturing its cloud services and building out the infrastructure of the partners. Antonio had the vision. Keith led the team that pursued that vision and helped HPE achieve it.”
White had a strong knowledge and understanding of the cloud market that propelled GreenLake forward, said O’Dell. “Coming from Microsoft, Keith really understood the market,” said O’Dell. “Keith really contributed to the GreenLake transformation. He made it a whole lot easier to sell and support GreenLake with a more comprehensive cloud services portfolio. Partners are grateful for all the things he did.”
White told CRN that the time was right to leave HPE given that the GreenLake platform is now integrated completely into the company.
“If you think about where we are at as a company the timing seems right,” he said. “GreenLake is now mainstream throughout the company. It is everyone’s job. That is something that I am very proud of being able to bootstrap what we have done and now making it part of everyone’s job. (HPE CEO) Antonio (Neri) really led that charge. He really said we have got to make this part of what everyone does not just Keith’s division.”
To that point, White said the impact that Neri has had on him and HPE has been massive. “Antonio’s whole bet and vision is how we have to change as a company,” he said. “To learn from that leadership, to be mentored on a daily basis, to be given direction, to partner with him and learn about his thoughtful approach to running the business was a blessing.”
HPE GreenLake momentum has accelerated as customers look at “their requirements” and different cloud options, said White. “It is all about solutions and it is all about helping optimize those through our partner ecosystem to make that happen,” he said. “We have created from day one a partner friendly platform to deliver those.”
As for the future opportunity for partners with GreenLake, White said “the sky is the limit” for the partner ecosystem. “It’s massive,” he said. “There is such an opportunity out there for these solutions and for what customers are doing. There are so many opportunities to build out (GreenLake) solutions.”
In fact, White said, he is “excited” to see how much partners will grow their businesses in the future with GreenLake.”It is going to be an exciting time,” he said. “I am very confident in the platform. I am very confident in the leadership. And I am very confident in our ecosystem to deliver everything going forward.”
White said he has learned a lot from Neri and “would love” to become a CEO of a company, laying out a culture, and scaling and growing a business.
“The opportunities are out there,” he said. “I am excited to see what comes next. I will always have a strong love in my heart for HPE and what we have done here and I look forward to seeing the success they will have going forward under Antonio’s leadership.”
Neri, for his part, finished his email by asking employees to join him in “thanking Keith for his contributions and wishing him all the best in his future endeavors.”