HP Partners: Sorry To Say Goodbye To Bill Veghte

Bill Veghte

Hewlett-Packard solution providers Tuesday said they are sorry to see former Chief Operating Officer Bill Veghte, who was at one time considered a potential successor to HP CEO Meg Whitman, leaving the company.

"I can't thank him enough for everything he has done and the impact he has had on me, my company and my people," said Mike Strohl, the CEO of Concord, Calif.-based Entisys, one of the top enterprise virtualization solution providers in the country. "Wherever Bill goes, you can be assured that we will follow, because of his style of leadership and the impact he has on everything and everyone he touches."

HP on Tuesday said that Veghte, a five-year HP veteran, is "departing the company later this summer to pursue a new opportunity." Veghte's departure comes as HP finalizes its split into two independent Fortune 50 companies effective Nov. 1.

[Related: HP Executive Shuffle: Veghte To Oversee HP Enterprise Split]

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Partners said they expect Veghte -- who is on the technology advisory board for VMTurbo, a highly regarded Boston-based maker of cloud and virtualization management software -- will take a high-level position with a top technology company. Veghte is also on the board of Xero, an online accounting vendor with more than 450,000 customers.

"I hope he lands with a company that we do business with," said the CEO for a top HP enterprise partner who did not want to be identified. "That would be the best case scenario for us. Bill is a financially savvy straight shooter. Everyone tagged him to be the successor to [HP CEO] Meg [Whitman]. Maybe he left because he realized that wasn't going to happen. I'm sorry to see him move on."

Partners said Veghte, who was sporting a beard at HP's Discover conference in June, has been less visible in the partner community and at customer gatherings since being charged last November by Whitman with overseeing the separation efforts for Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

"We've been wondering what might happen to him," said the CEO for another HP enterprise partner, who did not want to be identified. "It looked like he was being groomed to take over as CEO. [HP Enterprise chief] Antonio Neri was clearly heading the Enterprise Group. So there's no surprise. There were a lot of questions about where he might fit in the organization after the project was finished."

Neri, a 20-year HP veteran who had been heading up the Enterprise Group since Veghte took on the enterprise separation role, will now officially take on the title of executive vice president and general manager of the group.

HP said Chris Hsu, the one-time managing director at private equity giant KKR, will continue to lead the Hewlett Packard Enterprise separation efforts and will become COO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise once the separation is complete.

The CEO for another top HP Enterprise partner, who did not want to be identified, said Veghte will be missed at HP. "We loved Bill," the CEO said. "His interaction was always very positive and uplifting."