Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, who reignited the innovation engine at the one-time Silicon Valley behemoth and split the company into two, is stepping down as CEO as of Feb. 1, 2018.
HPE President Antonio Neri, the driving force behind the company's charged up software-defined enterprise portfolio, will take over as CEO.
Whitman, meanwhile, will remain a member of HPE's board of directors.
"I'm incredibly proud of all we've accomplished since I joined HP in 2011," Whitman said in a prepared statement. "Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective market Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future."
Partners said Whitman accomplished a miraculous turnaround of the company which had $12.5 billion in debt and a demoralized partner network when she took over as CEO in September 2011.
Raymond Tuchman, CEO of Experis Technology Group, a Potomac, Md., HPE partner, said Whitman did a great job for partners and customers, but the time is right for Neri to become CEO.
"The company had no focus when Meg became CEO," he said. "She saved the company by splitting HP Into two and making HP Enterprise a more nimble and agile company. Meg has left the company in great shape. I think Antonio is going to bring a lot of good energy and take the company to the next level and accelerate the growth of HPE."
Tuchman said his HPE business grew 32 percent this year and he expects it to grow at least 20 percent in 2018.
"During the past six years, Meg has worked tirelessly to bring stability, strength and resiliency back to an iconic company," said Pat Russo, Chairman of HPE's Board of Directors. "Antonio is an HPE veteran with a passion for the company's customers, partners, employees and culture. He has worked at Meg's side and is the right person to deliver on the vision the company has laid out."