Two Top 3PAR Storage Execs Leaving HP, According To Leaked Memo

David Scott

Two senior executives who joined Hewlett-Packard in its acquisition of storage vendor 3PAR five years ago are retiring, according to an internal memo obtained by CRN Friday.

HP Storage Senior Vice President David Scott, who was CEO of 3PAR when HP bought the company five years ago, is leaving the company effective March 6.

Peter Slocum, HP's vice president of engineering for 3PAR, is leaving effective Feb. 28, according to the memo.

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HP's 3PAR business has been growing at double digit rates in the channel, and HP's overall storage business is growing faster than the industry average, according to industry analysts.

That said, HP's overall storage business has seen revenue decline 18 percent in the last three fiscal years, from $4.05 billion in fiscal 2011 to $3.31 billion in fiscal 2014.

Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Enterprise Group, said in the memo that Bill Philbin, vice president of storage engineering for the Virtual Development Unit (VDU), will lead the HP Storage business as the acting general manager while HP conducts an internal and external search for a replacement for Scott.

Philbin, a former NetApp senior executive who joined HP five years ago, is already "responsible for a significant portion" of the HP storage portfolio including entry-level storage, object storage, network attached storage, data protection, and software-defined products, said Neri in the memo.

Philip Tamer, who is currently vice president of engineering for HP Converged Systems, will replace Slocum as vice president of engineering for the 3PAR Utility Development Unit. Tamer joined HP four years ago after 17 years at storage giant EMC, where he was vice president and general manager of its Symmetrix business.

"Over the next month, Peter and Philip will work together to ensure a smooth transition," said Neri in the memo. "In addition, over the next 30 days, we will work with Philip on a leadership transition plan for the CS (Converged Systems) engineering team."

Scott headed up 3PAR for nearly a decade, building it into one of the hottest storage startups of recent times. HP acquired 3PAR in September 2010 after what was widely described as intense, multi-week bidding war between HP and Dell. HP's final bid was more than three times the closing price of 3PAR shares at the time.

NEXT: HP Solution Providers React To The Storage Shakeup

The executive shuffle comes with HP beginning to fill out the executive teams of its two new publicly held Fortune 50 companies: the $57.6 billion Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will be made up of enterprise systems, storage and software; and the $57.3 billion HP Inc., which will be made up of the printing and personal systems business. The HP split is set to go live on Oct. 31.

HP has already named the top executive lineup for both of the new companies, with HP Enterprise being led by current HP CEO Meg Whitman, and HP Inc. being headed up by Dion Weisler, who is currently executive vice president of HP's Printing and Personal Systems business.

Scott has done a great job for HP storage over the last few years, said Dave Butler, president of Enterprise Computing Solutions, a Mission Viejo, Calif.-based solution provider and long-term HP channel partner.

"The product line is strong," Butler told CRN. "It's competing extremely well. And HP storage has a strong organization. There's a depth to this organization, and commitment from Meg at the top for investment in R&D."

Butler said he does not expect the storage executives' departure to negatively impact the company. "The HP storage line is in great shape," he said. "The development is strong, and future product introductions will be strong. They're leaving at a point in time where things seem solid. HP is a company with depth."

Jim Goodpasture, solutions architect for San Diego-based HP channel partner Bedrock Technology Partners, told CRN that Scott has been a big asset for HP.

Goodpasture, who prior to joining Bedrock worked in HP's storage sales organization, said he expects the 3PAR product to continue to thrive in the channel even with the executive departures."HP 3PAR is a mature product line," he said. "It will continue to do well."

HP's acquisition of 3PAR was breakout investment for the company, Goodpasture said. "It helped to sustain HP's enterprise customer base with a storage offering that was based on its own intellectual property rather than OEMing storage from several vendors," he said.