HPE CEO Antonio Neri: ‘Transformative’ Juniper Deal Creates ‘A New HPE’

‘Our acquisition of Juniper puts one powerhouse networking player together with another, creating an industry leader that will catalyze innovation across the entire networking stack,’ said HPE CEO Antonio Neri in an email to employees.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri Tuesday told his employees that the $14 billion acquisition of Juniper Networks is a “transformative deal” that creates a “new HPE” with secure networking as its new core business to accelerate “AI-driven and hybrid cloud strategies.”

In an email to HPE team members viewed by CRN, Neri said the deal moves HPE Aruba Networking into the next era.

“Our acquisition of Juniper puts one powerhouse networking player together with another, creating an industry leader that will catalyze innovation across the entire networking stack,” he said.

[Related: HPE’s Juniper Networks Acquisition: 5 Things To Know]

Neri called Juniper an “industry leader in AI-native networks” with 11,000 employees in 100 countries. “Juniper prides itself on delivering simplified networking experiences with the most comprehensive AIOps across the entire network,” he said in the memo.

Among Juniper’s customers, Neri said, are the world’s top five social media companies, the top 10 telecom companies and more than 1,400 national government organiations.

With Juniper, Spring, Texas-based HPE will be “better positioned to deliver new industry-leading solutions, win against competitors and attract new flagship customers, which in turn will create greater opportunities for all our stakeholders,” said Neri.

The acquisition opens the door for HPE to play a bigger role in the networking market, which Neri said has “been dominated for too long by incumbent players that are comfortable with the status quo.”

Networking market leader Cisco Systems declined to comment on the aquisition.

With the Juniper acquisition, HPE will effectively double the size of its networking business, giving customers “an exciting new alternative,” said Neri.

The combined HPE-Juniper portfolio will provide “comprehensive secure AI-native and cloud-native solutions that equip customers with the networking architecture necessary to manage and simplify their expanding and increasingly complex connectivity challenges.”

With the acquisition, Neri said, HPE expects “significant expansion” in the enterprise and service provider segments as well as “increased access” to newer market areas, including distributed compute, end-to-end lifecycle management, and automation and AI.

“We will also have meaningful opportunities to sell into Juniper’s installed base of telco and tier-one cloud customer segments,” said Neri.

Neri said Juniper CEO Rami Rahim will lead the combined HPE networking business. Current HPE Executive Vice President and General Manager of Aruba Phil Mottram will “continue to play an integral leadership role once the two organizations are combined,”said Neri

HPE Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Schultz will be serve as chief integration officer, overseeing the integration of the two companies.

HPE’s acquisition of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper is expected to close late this year or early in 2025, HPE said Tuesday.

Neri said Juniper shares many elements of the HPE culture including a track record of delivering “world class” innovation. “Juniper has consistently demonstrated what it means to accelerate what’s next and we are excited to welcome their team to ours.”

Neri said the deal will “deliver tremendous benefit” for all of the HPE’s stakeholders, including partners, customers, shareholders and team members.

“Combining the HPE and Juniper portfolios creates a unique strategic opportunity to accelerate our edge-to-cloud-to-exascale strategy, expand our addressable market and strengthen our ability to innovate for our customers and partners as we help bridge the AI-native and cloud-native worlds,” he said.

HPE is in a position, Neri said, to make this “bold strategic move” because of the “hard work” and “commitment” of HPE employees.

“I am confident the addition of Juniper will further strengthen our leadership position in the networking space, drive innovation for customers and partners across our portfolio and deliver incredible opportunities to all team members,” said Neri in the memo.

A top executive for a CRN Solution Provider 500 company that works with Cisco, HPE and Juniper, said the deal sets up a “mega battle” between HPE and Cisco in the networking market.

“Whoever does a better job investing with the channel is going to have the advantage,” he said, speaking on condition that he not be identified. “But make no mistake, Cisco is not going to take this lying down. Cisco is one of the best at working with partners to drive sales growth.”