Partners 'Overjoyed' Whitman Is Staying Put As HPE CEO

Hewlett Packard Enterprise partners said they are ecstatic that HPE CEO Meg Whitman is remaining at the helm of the company.

Whitman was reportedly being considered for the CEO job at embattled ride sharing company Uber even as late as yesterday as the Uber board met to select a new CEO.

[Related: HPE Americas Channel VP: SimpliVity Sales Momentum Is Off Charts, Surpassing Initial Aruba, 3Par Sales Strength]

Recode, and other news outlets are now reporting that Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will become the next CEO Of Uber.

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"We are overjoyed that Meg is staying at HPE," said Steve Hilts, a managing partner at Snowcap Technologies, one of HPE's top Platinum partners. "Meg has been great for the channel and great for our business. She has always been there for us and is heavily engaged with the channel."

Whitman has been on the front lines in the sales trenches working with partners to close deals and meeting regularly with partners to drive tighter alignment with HPE, said Hilts.

Whitman strongly refuted reports that she would be the next Uber CEO. "Normally I do not comment on rumors, but the speculation about my future and Uber has become a distraction," Whitman said in a series of tweets on July 31 after reports surfaced that she was on a short list for the Uber CEO job. "So let me make this as clear as I can. I am fully committed to HPE and plan to remain the company’s CEO. We have a lot of work still to do at HPE, and I am not going anywhere. Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman."

(3/3) We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere. Uber's CEO will not be Meg Whitman.

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HPE partners say Whitman has been responsible for a channel renaissance at the next generation software defined infrastructure provider over the last several years.

In fact, they say Whitman has taken HPE from a debt-ridden company with long-in-the-tooth products and a demoralized partner network and fashioned it into a smaller, more nimble company with a re-ignited innovation engine and a charged up channel.

One recent sign of Whitman's channel impact: a pledge to drive 100 percent of the sales from newly-acquired flash superstar Nimble Storage and hyper-converged powerhouse SimpliVity through partners.

Hilts, for one, is hoping that the 100 percent pledge will trickle into tighter alignment between HP direct sales reps and partners in enterprise accounts. That arrangement would result in a dramatic increase next-generation software-defined infrastructure sales for HPE and its partners, said Hilts.

"If Meg can focus on that 100 percent pledge in enterprise accounts with it could result in a huge increase in sales for HPE and its partners," said Hilts. "We are competing with Dell EMC, and we need a 100 percent focus on the channel."

Raymond Tuchman, CEO of Experis Technology Group, a Potomac, Md., HPE partner, said he was "nervous" on Sunday after hearing reports that Whitman was still in the running for Uber CEO job. "I am real happy Meg is staying," he said.

With Whitman at the helm, Tuchman said he sees a bright future for HPE and its partners. Experis' HPE sales are up 37 percent this year with strong traction across the board and with particular strength in storage and networking with Aruba and Arista, he said.

Chris Case, CEO of Sequel Data Systems, an Austin, Texas-based solution provider and HPE channel partner, said he was also happy to learn that Whitman was staying put at HPE. "Before Meg came to HPE there was a gigantic void and a lot of unknowns in the channel," said Case. "Today because of her leadership we are engaged with HPE at all levels of the company. This is definitely good news for partners."