CRN Exclusive: HP CEO Whitman Lays Out Transition Team Plan In Internal Memo

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Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said she is turning to some of the company's "best leaders," including HP Enterprise Executive Vice President Bill Veghte, to "step up to help HP succeed" as it splits into two new Fortune 50 companies, according to an internal HP memo obtained by CRN.

"When we announced our plans to separate into two new Fortune 50 companies, we committed to a thoughtful and transparent separation management process that would minimize disruption to customers, partners and employees," said Whitman in the memo. "To deliver on this commitment, I am once again asking some of our best leaders to step up to help HP succeed."

Veghte, who has helped drive the five-year HP turnaround strategy put in place by Whitman, is now being asked to lead the charge on the Hewlett-Packard Enterprise split.


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"While I will be closely involved in the key decisions that will shape the future of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, this team effort led by Bill will allow me to have the flexibility I need to run the current business through next year and assist [HP Executive Vice President of Printing and Personal Systems] Dion Weisler with the creation of HP Inc.," Whitman wrote in the internal memo. "As we announced on October 6, once HP separates, I will become the president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise."

The separation management team memo comes just one month after HP revealed it was splitting into two new publicly traded companies: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will be made up of enterprise systems, software and services, and HP Inc., which will be made up of the printing and PC business.

Solution providers said Veghte's steady hand will be critical in ensuring the Hewlett-Packard Enterprise business is successful. HP has said it expects the split to be completed by Oct. 31, 2015.

HP solution providers said the appointment of Veghte, HP's onetime chief strategy officer and chief operating officer, will be key as HP crafts it enterprise acquisition strategy with more than $7 billion in cash once the separation is completed.

"All the big bets and acquisitions are going to happen in Hewlett-Packard Enterprise so having someone like Bill who understands all aspects of the industry is going to be key," said one source close to HP. "When the split is done, I think Bill will end up being COO of HP Enterprise. Bill has been Meg's right arm from the beginning of the turnaround. He has the pulse of the customers, partner community and the entire HP ecosystem."

Whitman, for her part, said in the memo that Veghte will be leading a "collaborative effort" on the Hewlett-Packard Enterprise front working with HP Enterprise Services Executive Vice President Mike Nefkens and HP Software Executive Vice President Robert Youngjohns to "hone and advance our enterprise strategy and catalyze our separation efforts for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise."

Whitman said that Chris Hsu, senior vice president, Operational Performance, who joined HP in May from global investment firm KKR, will "manage the overall separation process and work streams for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise."

Next: Rising Star Neri To Oversee HP Enterprise Business

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