Former WebOS GM DeWitt Gets New Marketing Role At HP

DeWitt, who was previously senior vice president and general manager of HP's WebOS global business unit, will begin his new role on May 1. He will report to Chief Marketing Officer Marty Homlish, under whom HP recently consolidated marketing efforts across all its business units, an HP spokesperson told CRN.

The spokesperson confirmed the nature and timing of DeWitt's new role but did not provide his exact title.

HP's Enterprise Group, formed last month as part of a corporate restructuring in which HP also combined its PC and printer businesses, includes HP's Global Accounts Sales organization, its Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) division, and HP Technology Services. The new division is headed by ESSN chief Dave Donatelli.

HP partners are encouraged to see DeWitt, who has also previously led HP's Personal Systems Group business in the Americas, taking on a more active role in the company.

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"I thought he did an amazing job at PSG – he is passionate and charismatic, and he gets stuff done," said Kristin Rogers, executive vice president of sales and marketing at PC Mall, a Torrance, Calif.-based HP partner.

DeWitt has kept a low profile since last August and was notably absent from HP's Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas in February.

HP CEO Meg Whitman told CRN in January that DeWitt had been working with her on "special projects" and would continue to play an important strategic role at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company. "He's not going away," Whitman said at the time. "He's been working on a couple of special projects for me as I came in, around sales force and go-to-market, which he knows incredibly well."

Ex-HP CEO Leo Apotheker tapped DeWitt to head up HP’s WebOS business in an executive reshuffle last July. DeWitt replaced Jon Rubinstein, the former Palm CEO known as the father of WebOS, who left HP in January.

DeWitt is an outspoken figure in HP's executive ranks, and last March he lambasted Apple for ignoring the channel, suggesting that HP’s strength in this area could prove an important differentiator in the mobility space.

Even after HP killed the TouchPad, DeWitt insisted that WebOS would eventually be the operating system linking a wide range of connected devices "The WebOS is not dead," DeWitt said at the time. “We’re going to continue to evolve it, update and support it. We stand by it."